Energy, Heat and Global Warming

By Daniel Brouse and Sidd Mukherjee for Sidd’s Science Center

I ask:
Is there anything humans do with energy that results in less heat?

For example, furnaces generate heat, refrigerators generate heat, light bulbs generate heat, computers, cars, fans and even air conditioners create more heat.

Is there anything that we do that has a net loss of thermal energy or does the use of energy (period. both fossil fuel and renewable energy) by humans add to global warming?

Sidd replies:
Not just humans. Anytime energy is converted from one form to another and work is extracted by any agency, not just humans, some is lost as heat energy. That’s the second law of thermodynamics.

But to put it in perspective, lets say you burn a pound of coal, and take all the chemical energy out as heat. The amount of heat you directly obtain is several hundred times smaller than the heat trapped by the carbon dioxide generated over the next many thousand years that it remains in the atmosphere… so, don’t burn coal, oil or any fossil carbon.

Thus, for example conversion of AC to DC electricity can be very close to 100% efficient… but if you take out some of the energy and do work with it, you will lose some energy as heat.

The second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy of an isolated system always increases over time, or remains constant in ideal cases where the system is in a steady state or undergoing a reversible process. The increase in entropy accounts for the irreversibility of natural processes, and the asymmetry between future and past.

The second law has been expressed in many ways. Its first formulation is credited to the French scientist Sadi Carnot in 1824, who showed that there is an upper limit to the efficiency of conversion of heat to work in a heat engine.

This entry was posted in Energy, Environment, Global Warming, health and wellness, Science and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • RSS The Membrane Domain

    • Climate Change Breaks Multiple Records with Global Impacts
      The World Meteorological Organization (WHO) issued a report that states records for 2016: a record global temperature exceptionally low sea ice unabated sea level rise ocean heat Extreme weather and climate conditions have continued into 2017. “This report confirms that the year 2016 was the warmest on record – a remarkable 1.1 °C above the […]
    • Atlantic City Going Under
      by Daniel Brouse For decades businesses located on the island of Atlantic City have been scenario planning for climate change and rising sea levels. At the turn of the century, the casinos devised a plan to float their businesses and ferry gamblers in. Now, the rising waters are no longer a scenario. So-called “nuisance flooding” […]
    • Russia Hacked 500 Million Yahoo Accounts
      The Membrane Domain: Cybersecurity by the Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs A grand jury in the Northern District of California has indicted four defendants, including two officers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), for computer hacking, economic espionage and other criminal offenses in connection with a conspiracy, beginning in January 2014, to […]
  • Something 6-string
    youtu.be/BioMid8sdfs
    ...

    View on Facebook
  • RSS PhilaNet.com

    • March for Science in Philadelphia
      Saturday, April 22 at 10 AM – 2 PM / Earth Day April 22, 2017 Penn’s Landing 101 S. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106 PHILADELPHIA — March For Science is a nationwide protest in support of science and technology. The Trump administration has discredited scientist in many areas. President Trump has said the climate change […]
    • Delaware Valley Wellness Network
      The Delaware Valley Wellness Network offers medical services and wellness advice throughout the United States. Providers Companions For You – Home Care Services Big Apple Health & Beauty Center Intuitive Nutrition Dieticians and Nutritional Counseling Karen Clark-Schock, PsyD, ATR-BC Behavioral Medicine Women’s Center of Montgomery County Maury Malyn, MS, PT – Myofascial Release, Physical Therapy […]
  • RSS Natural Disasters

  • Categories

  • Archives

Created by: Daniel Brouse and Sidd
All text, sights and sounds © BROUSE
"You must not steal nor lie nor defraud."