Sunday, November 11, 2007

Entropy and Global Warming

Saturday night, I am alone at home, after being part of a very funny "mock" Thanksgiving with the Astronomy Grad Students here in Ann Arbor. The party was really awesome, with great people and great food, but this time I decided to stay clean.

So here I am, sitting with my computer in my lap, hearing some music, in full control of my consciousness, and then inspiration came. Actually I was thinking about writing about this thing for a while now. The post today will be about Global Warming. Yeah... This will be fun. An excellent way to spend time in a Saturday night.

As a Doomguard, and a physicist I have to think in Global Warming in terms of Entropy. Global Warming is caused just by the increase of Entropy of our small planet. The increase of Entropy is always a natural process, the real point here is that due to humanity extremely high needs of energy, the natural process is being accelerated to uncontrolled levels. Of course, to produce energy, you have to produce heat, and heat in a manner of speaking is Entropy. There is no way to produce energy without increasing the Entropy of your surroundings.

As I share the Sinker point of view regarding Entropy, I guess in this case I have to help the Regulators, to reduce a little bit the Entropy increasing rate of the planet. Global Warming in my point of view, is not directly related to the Greenhouse Effect. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is just proportional to the energetic necessities of the world, due to the fact that most of the energy produced in the world came from thermal power plants, and the burning of oil or coal, and the efficiency in these processes are at most around 50%. More efficient ways to produce energy will decrease the rate of Entropy gain of the planet, but Entropy will still increase, and then there will be different sources, alike Greenhouse Effect today, to blame for Global Warming. Another way to help decrease the Entropy gain of the planet is to decrease the energy needs of humanity, but that is probably out of question. The energy needs of this civilization just tends to increase, uncontrollably, and this will also lead to an uncontrollable increase of heat produced, and then no way to escape from the fearsome Global Warming.

Energy consumption will not decrease, so humanity needs to find a way to control its needs for energy, so Global Warming can be controlled. And humanity also needs to find more efficient ways to generate energy. These two things would help a lot towards controlling this problem, but anyway, the increase of heat will continue. As I believe in the laws of thermodynamics, and I don't believe in a perpetual energy source 100% efficient, the only way to solve this problem would be to produce energy using sources outside the Earth. The most straightforward answer for this conundrum is Solar Energy. That is the only actual way of reducing Global Warming on Earth currently known. The Sun is like a battery, there is no known way of pulling more energy than it generates, but it produces energy enough to sustain life on Earth for billions of years yet. Using the Sun energy we can lower the Entropy of the Earth, and in this way end once and for all the warming problem of the planet. Eventually the Sun's Entropy will reach values so high that it will become a red giant, almost enveloping the Earth orbit, and destroying this beautiful planet, and all traces of civilization here.

We can surely create a lot of power plants in Mars soil, this way we can generate enough heat to warm the martian surface, making the planet more susceptible to accept earthlike life-forms. Then using some interplanetary energy tranfer methods, yet unknown, to bring this energy to Earth. Maybe the microwave radiation background generated by the Big Bang could also be used as a clean energy source. There are many possibilities, but currently the only feasible one , to really reduce Global Warming, is the use of solar radiation as a source of energy. Nothing else is really a solution. While most of the energy generated in Earth come from earthly sources, there will still be heat being generated and the Entropy will still increase.

This is Entropy berk! It can be delayed but never defeated. So, lets embrace Global Warming, because we cannot run away from it, yet. Solar power is somewhat a reality, but only an ephemeral part of humanity energy is generated that way. There is a long and winding road ahead of us before humanity can use the Sun as its most important source of energy again. Decay, Death and Destruction will be always in our doorsteps, one way or another, so be used to it...

1 comment:

tH said...

I share your thoughts, you can see them in my blog at