Why burning carbon is bad, Chaos Theory and Laws of Thermodynamics

entropy

Givens:

The Earth is a closed system exposed to radiation.

  • Second law of thermodynamics, about entropy:
The total entropy of any isolated thermodynamic system tends to increase over time, approaching a maximum value or equilibrium.
  • First law of thermodynamics, about the conservation of energy:
The change in the internal energy of a closed thermodynamic system is equal to the sum of the amount of heat energy supplied to the system and the work done on the system.

A Basic Explanation of Chaos Theory:  This is a mathematical theorem that attempts to predict the behavior (results) of complex systems.  The result (answer) is K, which is a range of values not an actual number.  The greater the number of variables, the larger the value of K.  In a system with an infinite number of variables or a system where a large proportion of the variables are unknown, K is also undefinable.

Chaos Theory is the backbone of climate modeling.

Preliminary Conclusions:

Climate Modeling is inherently inaccurate because the unknown variables are too many.

-The chemical composition of the Earth is drastically different than it has ever been before due to our proliferation of heavy elements.

–This means that models based on historical climate change are also invalid.

Hypothesis:

The equilibrium of the planet has been thrown out of balance due to human activity.

The system has had significant additional work done on it by human industrial and population growth, increasing the internal energy and entropy.

The accumulation of heavy elements in the atmosphere has caused a green house effect, whereby the system’s membrane has become less permeable in terms of heat transference while retaining the same degree of permeability in terms of ultraviolet radiation.

The One Conclusion:

The Earth is experiencing an increase in Heat and Entropy.

This does NOT mean anyone has any idea what will happen as a result, all we can do is takes informed steps to minimise the effects of the earth restoring it’s own equilibrium.

living_earth

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3 Responses

  1. I’m an aspiring climatologist, but still in high school, so I only got some of that 🙂 Nonetheless I found it quite fascinating.

    Have you seen my blog? It has to do with climate change in the context of bigger ideas such as credibility, risk management, and responsible journalism.

    You can probably just click on my name and it’ll take you there.

    Thanks,
    Kate

  2. My dad told me he was talking to a doctor at his job once, and the doc told him something to the effect of

    “no matter how advanced our thinking, technological achievements, and medical breakthroughs have become, everything doctors do really comes down to an educated guess. Everything points to a patience with terminal illness living for 6 weeks, and he lives for 6 years. A person could show signs of recovery within 3 weeks and die in 3 days. Sometimes, there’s just nothing to explain it.”

    It is undoubtedly true that it is impossible to know what the effects of our industry and population will do to the planet, but I can’t overstress the importance of taking preventative measures to ensure that our planet remains liveable.

    Indicator number 1 will be the scarcity of oil. If we continue on our current glideslope, there will be a mad dash for alternative energy, which may result in using expensive underdeveloped technology, when we couldve been slowly weening ourselves off of fossil fuels all along.

    I don’t have to tell you this however… =) Just voicing my concern.

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