MadSci Network: Earth Sciences

Re: is it possible to geothermally develop weather pattens?

Date: Wed May 22 13:51:07 2002
Posted By: Renafaye Norby, Faculty, Science Education, Black Hills State Univ.
Area of science: Earth Sciences
ID: 1020131663.Es

This is an interesting what if question. We can use the earth as a model 
because it does have weather caused by the sun's energy.  The most 
accurate way to answer using this model would be to locate accurate 
estimations of the relative amount of thermal energy provided to the earth 
by the sun, and the amount of geothermal energy available on the earth. 
Not having this information at hand, I will postulate the following line 
of reasoning. For a crude estimation, I believe that the sun provides over 
97% of the energy on the earth. For that reason, I predict that the answer 
to this question is "NO."  Geothermal energy cannot provide anywhere near 
the amount of energy needed to feed the entire earth's atmosphere to 
create weather, and moving to a generic planetary model does not change 
the magnitude involved appreciably.   

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