Authors: Bo Nordell, Bruno Gervet
Addresses: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Lulea University of Technology, SE-97187 Lulea, Sweden. ' Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Lulea University of Technology, SE-97187 Lulea, Sweden
Abstract: The increase in the global air temperature is an inadequate measure of global warming, which should rather be considered in terms of energy. The ongoing global warming means that heat has been accumulating since 1880 in the air, ground and water. Before explaining this warming by external heat sources, the net heat emissions on Earth must be considered. Such emissions from, e.g., the global use of fossil fuels and nuclear power, must contribute to global warming. The aim of this study is to compare globally accumulated and emitted heat. The heat accumulated in the air corresponds to 6.6% of global warming, while the remaining heat is stored in the ground (31.5%), melting of ice (33.4%) and sea water (28.5%). It was found that the net heat emissions from 1880-2000 correspond to 74% of the accumulated heat, i.e., global warming, during the same period. The missing heat (26%) must have other causes, e.g., the greenhouse effect, the natural variations in the climate and/or the underestimation of net heat emissions. Most measures that have already been taken to combat global warming are also beneficial for the current explanation, though nuclear power is not a solution to (but part of) the problem.
Keywords: global warming; heat accumulation; net heat emissions; thermal pollution; global energy accumulation; nuclear energy; nuclear power; fossil fuels.
International Journal of Global Warming, 2009 Vol.1 No.1/2/3, pp.378 - 391
Available online: 14 Jul 2009 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article