Posted by: Grant | April 28, 2013

The Earth’s Core

When debating the effect of greenhouse gases on the 4 Kilometres of air above us it is almost always forgotten that if we went 4 kilometres down into the earth we would reach 60 degrees centigrade.

deepearth3

The Earth has a very active molten core and rather than slowly cooling it is now supposed that it is actively powered by nuclear fission of heavy metals such as Uranium and Thorium.

This activity is so powerful it bursts out in hotspots such as Iceland, Yellowstone, Taupo and Hawaii and it warms the deep oceans and pushes large sections of the planet’s surface around. It generates a very powerful magnetic field which deflects solar radiation.

We live in an average 15 degree C sweetspot between the molten-core/nuclear fission reactor beneath our feet, the giant nuclear fusion reactor that we orbit and the super cold minus 270 degree C cosmic background radiation around us. 

BBC
Earth’s core far hotter than thought
By Jason Palmer Science and technology reporter,
BBC News 26 April 2013 Last updated at 09:56 GMT
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22297915

New measurements suggest the Earth’s inner core is far hotter than prior experiments suggested, putting it at 6,000C – as hot as the Sun’s surface….

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN
Nuclear Fission Confirmed as Source of More than Half of Earth’s Heat
By David Biello
July 18, 2011
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2011/07/18/nuclear-fission-confirmed-as-source-of-more-than-half-of-earths-heat/

…The new measurements suggest radioactive decay provides more than half of Earth’s total heat, estimated at roughly 44 terawatts based on temperatures found at the bottom of deep boreholes into the planet’s crust.
The rest is leftover from Earth’s formation or other causes yet unknown, according to the scientists involved.
Some of that heat may have been trapped in Earth’s molten iron core since the planet’s formation, while the nuclear decay happens primarily in the crust and mantle.
But with fission still pumping out so much heat, Earth is unlikely to cool—and thereby halt the collisions of continents—for hundreds of millions of years thanks to the long half-lives of some of these elements… “

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