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Old 10-02-2010, 06:19 PM   #1
kennyc
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What Heats the Earth's Core?

No, not all the hot air in this forum.

http://www.physorg.com/news62952904.html

We should capture it and use it to power our technology..

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Old 10-02-2010, 06:33 PM   #2
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Sorry.
I thought it was a joke because of the OP's first line after the thread title.

Next time, send a Visitor's message.
Or I don't bother editing.

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Old 10-02-2010, 09:22 PM   #3
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Having personally offered Kenny the suggestion, I have added the "Seriously Thoughtful" prefix to this thread. No harm, no foul. And Kenny is, of course, welcome to request it be changed at anytime.

Cheers,
Marc
Moderator

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Old 10-02-2010, 09:26 PM   #4
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I do know there is a lot of work in Iceland to tap into the thermal emissions (as they sit on the mid-Atlantic ridge and have a lot of hotsprings etc.) I know some research is going on ... maybe we need to fund more...
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyc View Post
I do know there is a lot of work in Iceland to tap into the thermal emissions (as they sit on the mid-Atlantic ridge and have a lot of hotsprings etc.) I know some research is going on ... maybe we need to fund more...
I don't know if they are doing any additional work, but i know that Iceland gets ALL electrical energy it uses from geothermal sources combined with hydroelectrical power since a long time ago. I could personally verify that.

They also have all household heating requirements covered by geothermal energy.

i can think of three reasons for the core being hot
(1) heat from when the planet formed and accreted, which has not yet been lost;
(2) frictional heating, caused by denser core material sinking to the center of the planet; and
(3) heat from the decay of radioactive elements.
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:59 PM   #6
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Sometime billions of years in the future, he predicts, the core and mantle could cool and solidify enough to meet the crust. If that happens, Earth will become a cold, dead planet like the moon.

Long before such an occurrence, however, the Sun will likely have evolved into a red-giant star, and grown large enough to engulf our fair planet. At that point, whatever heat is left in the mantle will hardly matter.
Well at least there is some good news. We'll fry long before we freeze.
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:26 PM   #7
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I do know there is a lot of work in Iceland to tap into the thermal emissions (as they sit on the mid-Atlantic ridge and have a lot of hotsprings etc.) I know some research is going on ... maybe we need to fund more...
There is the minor issue of triggering earthquakes...
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:27 PM   #8
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So Robert Frost was right.

http://www.bartleby.com/155/2.html

BTW the question in my mind that triggered this was whether the heat is from the original formation that just had not cooled...not sure I got a answer yet..
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:28 PM   #9
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There is the minor issue of triggering earthquakes...
Interesting.
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Old 10-03-2010, 12:02 AM   #10
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BTW the question in my mind that triggered this was whether the heat is from the original formation that just had not cooled...not sure I got a answer yet..
Oh, if that's your question-- no. Most of the Earth's current core heat is from radioactive decay. The heat from the Earth's initial formation ran out literally billions of years ago. Earth would have been a dead lump long before the Cambrian. In fact, that was one of the major "thorns in the side" of evolutionary theory before the discovery of radioactivity in the 20th century. Without radioactive heating, the Earth just simply can't be old enough.

http://skepticwiki.org/index.php/Lor...in%27s_Blunder

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Old 10-03-2010, 12:42 AM   #11
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I do know there is a lot of work in Iceland to tap into the thermal emissions (as they sit on the mid-Atlantic ridge and have a lot of hotsprings etc.) I know some research is going on ... maybe we need to fund more...
New Zealand gets 10% of its electricity this way, (according to Wiki).
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Old 10-03-2010, 03:37 AM   #12
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You should read Robots and Empire by Isaac Asimov. He does a nice job of explaining how the earth gets its heat.
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Old 10-03-2010, 05:25 AM   #13
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Oh, if that's your question-- no. Most of the Earth's current core heat is from radioactive decay. The heat from the Earth's initial formation ran out literally billions of years ago. Earth would have been a dead lump long before the Cambrian. In fact, that was one of the major "thorns in the side" of evolutionary theory before the discovery of radioactivity in the 20th century. Without radioactive heating, the Earth just simply can't be old enough.

http://skepticwiki.org/index.php/Lor...in%27s_Blunder
Link's not working. I'm still skeptical that it's all due to radiation. I'll read the link when/if it returns (as well as others which I'll be researching).

In fact in the article linked it says:

-----------
Most of Earth's heat is stored in the mantle, Marone says, and there are four sources that keep it hot. First, there's the heat left over from when gravity first condensed a planet from the cloud of hot gases and particles in pre-Earth space. As the molten ball cooled, some 4 billion years ago, the outside hardened and formed a crust. The mantle is still cooling down.

"We don't think this original heat is a major part of the Earth's heat, though," Marone says. It only contributes 5 to 10 percent of the total, "about the same amount as gravitational heat."

----

Link is working now. Doesn't seem very relevant as it is related to the Age of the Earth based on temp differential. (but somewhat associated)

Last edited by kennyc; 10-03-2010 at 05:31 AM.
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Old 10-03-2010, 05:26 AM   #14
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You should read Robots and Empire by Isaac Asimov. He does a nice job of explaining how the earth gets its heat.
Hmmm....
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:24 AM   #15
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Scientific American article on the same topic:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...B7809EC588F2D7

There are three main sources of heat in the deep earth: (1) heat from when the planet formed and accreted, which has not yet been lost; (2) frictional heating, caused by denser core material sinking to the center of the planet; and (3) heat from the decay of radioactive elements. ....
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