Friday, June 2, 2017

General Planetary Geology Q&A

Q: To Whom It May Concern
I’m not a scientist, however I find it an interesting issue.
I have a few questions of which I hope you can clarify for me:
- Preben P
A: I'll try to respond to each of your questions below in CAPS:

Q: 1: How does the inner core of the earth maintain its temperature? Or is it decreasing?
A: FOR ONE THING, THE CORE OF THE EARTH IS WELL INSULATED WITH VAST VOLUMES OF LOW-THERMAL-CONDUCTIVITY OVERLYING ROCK. EVEN WITH CONVECTION IN THE MANTLE (AND PERHAPS THE OUTER CORE ALSO) IT TAKES A LONG TIME FOR HEAT TO ESCAPE. WHETHER THE TEMPERATURE IS INCREASING OR DECREASING IS A MATTER OF CONJECTURE. SOME OF THE HEAT IS FROM KINETIC ENERGY DUE TO THE AGGREGATION OF THE PROTOPLANETARY DISK, WHICH WOULD IMPLY COOLING. HOWEVER, MUCH OF THE HEAT IS THOUGHT TO BE FROM DECAYING RADIOACTIVE ISOTOPES... WHICH WITH THE ONSET OF CONTINENTAL DRIFT (MANTLE CONVECTION) IN THE PRECAMBRIAN IMPLIES INCREASING HEAT. MANKIND HASN'T BEEN AROUND LONG ENOUGH TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE. 

Q: 2: After any volcano eruptions what happens to the void space from whatever is discharged?
A: USUALLY A CALDERA REMAINS - A LARGE SUNKEN CRATER - OR SOME OTHER COLLAPSE FEATURE APPEARS. OVERLYING LITHOSTATIC PRESSURE GUARANTEES THAT NO VOIDS REMAIN INSIDE THE EARTH - THERE IS NO VOID SPACE ANYWHERE IN THE EARTH EXCEPT FOR VERY SHALLOW CAVES CAUSED BY LIMESTONE DISSOLUTION (KARSTS). 

Q: 3: Could it be possible that earth is a dying sun meaning that the earth for billions of years ago was a burning planet from big bang? Just like the sun as we know it today.
A: THE SUN AND EARTH DID NOT BEGIN TO FORM UNTIL ABOUT 9 THOUSAND MILLION YEARS *AFTER* THE BIG BANG, SO THE EARTH IS NOT HOT FROM THE BIG BANG (AT LEAST NOT DIRECTLY). AS AN ASIDE, EARTH IS NOT A SUN.

NOTE: a thousand million = billion in America. A million million = a billion in the UK.

THE SUN IS USING UP ITS HYDROGEN FUEL AT A RATE THAT WILL LEAD TO A NOVA IN ABOUT 5 THOUSAND MILLION MORE YEARS. THERE IS SOME EVIDENCE THAT THE EARTH WENT THROUGH A FROZEN "SNOWBALL" STAGE IN THE ARCHEAN EPOCH (MORE THAN ~2,500,000,000 YEARS AGO), BUT THIS IS POORLY UNDERSTOOD (THE EVIDENCE IS TRULY ANCIENT). THERE IS EVIDENCE (STROMATOLITE FOSSILS) THAT THE EARTH RESIDED IN A TEMPERATE ZONE LIKE TODAY AS FAR BACK AS ~3,400,000,000+ YEARS AGO.

Q: Climate change:
Don’t believe its cause by man; for sure man is the cause of poor air quality.
A: IF YOU DON'T ACCEPT THE VAST AND GROWING EVIDENCE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE, THEN YOU ARE PART OF A VERY SMALL MINORITY AMONG EDUCATED PEOPLE. 

MORE THAN 98% OF SCIENTISTS WHO STUDY CLIMATE CHANGE AGREE THAT THE EVIDENCE STRONGLY INDICATES THAT MAN IS THE CAUSE OF CLIMATE CHANGE. THE RAPIDLY GROWING CO2 IN THE ATMOSPHERE, A WELL-MEASURED GREENHOUSE GAS, HAS AN ISOTOPIC SIGNATURE LOW IN CARBON-14: THIS MEANS MOST IF NOT ALL OF THE NEW CO2 WAS SEQUESTERED FOR A MINIMUM OF 50,000 YEARS AS BURIED HYDROCARBONS, AND MORE LIKE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF YEARS. IT IS RELATIVELY EASY TO CALCULATE THE AMOUNT OF FOSSIL FUEL BURNED IN THE PAST CENTURY, AND TIE IT TO THE INCREASE IN CO2. HOWEVER, THE HUNGER FOR MEAT PROTEIN HAS ALSO MEANT AN EXPLOSION OF DOMESTIC RUMINANTS (SUCH AS COWS) THAT EMIT VAST AMOUNTS OF METHANE, A GREENHOUSE GAS UP TO 37 TIMES MORE POTENT THAN CO2. ONE COW EMITS AS MUCH METHANE IN ONE DAY AS THE VOLUME OF THREE OF MY FILING CABINETS. MULTIPLY THAT BY 37 TO GET THE EQUIVALENT CO2 RELEASE. THE GEOLOGIC RECORD SHOWS THAT THERE HAVE BEEN CLIMATE CHANGE EPISODES IN THE PAST, BUT NONE THAT HAPPENED ANYWHERE NEARLY AS FAST AS IT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW - IT TOOK HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS INSTEAD OF OUR CURRENT HYPER-SPEED, CHANGE-IN-A-CENTURY RATE). 

I CONCUR WITH YOU THAT MAN IS DEFINITELY THE CAUSE OF POOR AIR QUALITY. 

Q: How about magnetic poles so when the suns positive pole is close to earths negative it will bring the 2 closer and opposite when negative is close to negative also the moon must have effect there.
A: YOU ARE THINKING OF HOW BAR MAGNETS BEHAVE CLOSE TO EACH OTHER - THIS IS A FAULTY ANALOGY BECAUSE OF FACTORS OF BOTH SCALE, PROCESS, AND DISTANCE. THE SUN IS 144,000,000 KILOMETERS FROM THE EARTH. THE SOLAR WIND *DOES* INTERACT WITH THE MAGNETIC POLE OF THE EARTH (AURORAS). THE STRENGTH OF THE SOLAR MAGNETIC DIPOLE IS FAR TOO SMALL TO INFLUENCE THE EARTH'S MAGNETIC DIPOLE, WHICH IS APPARENTLY DRIVEN BY THERMAL CONVECTION IN THE CORE OF THE EARTH. 

Q: PS: Science is like religion you either believe in it or not, however science has a few fact but if they come off wrong at the start everything is wrong
A: I PARTIALLY AGREE WITH YOUR PS: *SOME* PEOPLE ATTEMPT TO MAKE SCIENCE THEIR RELIGION. I DON'T THINK THAT IS WISE, BUT I UNDERSTAND HOW IT CAN HAPPEN. I AGREE THAT FAULTY SCIENCE CAN LEAD TO FURTHER MISTAKES, LIKE HOW SOVIET GENETICS WAS CRIPPLED FOR DECADES BY THE SO-CALLED STALINIST GENETICIST LYSENKO. HOWEVER, WHILE SCIENCE IS THEORETICALLY A SELF-CORRECTING PROCESS, IT IS NEVERTHELESS IMPERFECT, A VERY HUMAN PROCESS. IT SHOULD THEREFOR NOT BE WORSHIPED. 

IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN SCIENCE THAT IS FINE, BUT IT MARKS YOU AS SOMEONE WHO HAS NOT STUDIED AND LEARNED ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND IT. YOU CAN ALSO CHOOSE TO NOT BELIEVE IN GRAVITY, HOWEVER IF YOU THEN STEP OFF THE TOP OF A BUILDING YOUR BELIEF WILL NOT MAKE IT GO AWAY. 

One final comment. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. However, if you base your life and actions on opinions not backed up by facts, you will not live long nor well. MAKING UP facts doesn't make them facts. You can believe that 1 + 1 = 3 but your orbital mechanics BASED ON THAT MATH will not land a man on the Moon. 




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