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What if our sun disappeared?

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Joseph Bartlo

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Jan 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/29/96
to
I am not proposing such a thing will ever happen, but am curious if any
climate modelers 'out there' have ever removed solar energy from their
model to see what might result. How long would life exist on our planet
(my guess is about 2 weeks for most things), what kinds of weather
systems and storms may that cause, etc.?


Josef

Dave Stuart (dstuart@umr.edu)

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Jan 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/30/96
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Joseph Bartlo (jba...@ouchem.chem.oakland.edu) wrote:
: I am not proposing such a thing will ever happen, but am curious if any


I am no professional but, I think it would get cold.

--
-- Dave Stuart
dst...@umr.edu
University of Missouri -- Rolla

KB0SLY


Andre Tornow

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Jan 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/30/96
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>I am no professional but, I think it would get cold.
>
>--
>-- Dave Stuart

Right, but this would not be the only problem, as the sun
also forces the dynamics of the atmosphere.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

/\ I\ Andre Tornow
/ \I \ Inst. f. Met. FU Berlin
/ I\ \
/ I \ \ Berlin, Germany
/ I \ \ e-mail: tor...@zedat.fu-berlin.de
/_______I \ \
_ _________I____\/
_ \_____________/ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Mark D. Vanderbilt

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Jan 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/30/96
to

>Joseph Bartlo (jba...@ouchem.chem.oakland.edu) wrote:
>: I am not proposing such a thing will ever happen, but am curious if any
>: climate modelers 'out there' have ever removed solar energy from their
>: model to see what might result. How long would life exist on our planet
>: (my guess is about 2 weeks for most things), what kinds of weather
>: systems and storms may that cause, etc.?

>I am no professional but, I think it would get cold.

Heh heh... You're probably right....

Seriously... if you just "turned off the sun"... I would tend to
think that many of our large storms would tend to disappear. Since wind is
created by sunlight warming and thus expanding the gases in our atmosphere,
wind would slow to a halt. I think that basically, you'd end up with a
cold, dead, "boring" planet.

Although ice-skating from NY to Paris would be cool...

Greg Brush

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Jan 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/30/96
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Andre Tornow (tor...@zedat-fu-berlin.de) wrote:
: dst...@saucer.cc.umr.edu (Dave Stuart (dst...@umr.edu)) wrote:

: >I am no professional but, I think it would get cold.
: >
: >--
: >-- Dave Stuart

: Right, but this would not be the only problem, as the sun
: also forces the dynamics of the atmosphere.

I'm afraid I missed the first part of the thread, and I'm no geophysist,
but wouldn't the sudden change in gravitational forces most likely cause
the planet to have massive seismic upheavals (aside from flying out of
our orbital path...which seems like the least of the problems)?

Kind of a bad scene no matter how you look at it. So, for anyone
contemplating making the sun disappear, I would suggest they not do it! :)

Regards,

Greg
gbr...@indy.net

David Salzberg

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Jan 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/30/96
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In article <4elrev$8...@news.indy.net>, gbr...@indy.net (Greg Brush) writes:

|>
|> I'm afraid I missed the first part of the thread, and I'm no geophysist,
|> but wouldn't the sudden change in gravitational forces most likely cause
|> the planet to have massive seismic upheavals (aside from flying out of
|> our orbital path...which seems like the least of the problems)?

I am a seismologist. First, the question was: what if the solar input was
shut off. If the mass of the sun remained constant, we would continue
to orbit until we all died.

If the sun were to dissapear, we would go off at a tangent to the orbit.
The forces on the earth would be minimal because what the earth is doing
right now is "free falling around the sun" -- that is what an orbit is.

The only thing we would lose would be the tide from the sun. And it has
been demonstraited that there is no correlation between tides and
earthquakes. Therefore, in the short term, I would not expect any
change in the global seismology.

In the long term, I am not sure
what would happen because it would effect the global heat balance, and
should increase the rate of mantle convection as the temp inside the
earth would remain the same (heat source is internal: radioactive
decay in the mantle and heat from crystalization of the outercore
resulting in an expanding inner core).

If the convection does in fact increase, then I would expect the rate of
tectonic motions to increase, resulting in more earthquakes. However,
there maybe other properties that offset that.


|> Kind of a bad scene no matter how you look at it. So, for anyone
|> contemplating making the sun disappear, I would suggest they not do it! :)

I second it :)

--
David Salzberg salz...@seismo.css.gov

All opinions are mine unless otherwise noted.


Gerard J. Gonthier

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Jan 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/30/96
to

Joseph Bartlo (jba...@ouchem.chem.oakland.edu) wrote:
: I am not proposing such a thing will ever happen, but am curious if any
: climate modelers 'out there' have ever removed solar energy from their
: model to see what might result. How long would life exist on our planet
: (my guess is about 2 weeks for most things), what kinds of weather
: systems and storms may that cause, etc.?


One type of ecosystem that may hang on for a few years is
hydrothermal vents at the mid oceanic ridges which gets
its sole energy source from the Earth's interior.

Gerard

David Ewer

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Jan 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/30/96
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My kids say it will get dark too.

Robert Grumbine

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Jan 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/30/96
to
In article <4ei991$1...@news2.acs.oakland.edu>,

Joseph Bartlo <jba...@ouchem.chem.oakland.edu> wrote:
>I am not proposing such a thing will ever happen, but am curious if any
>climate modelers 'out there' have ever removed solar energy from their
>model to see what might result. How long would life exist on our planet
>(my guess is about 2 weeks for most things), what kinds of weather
>systems and storms may that cause, etc.?

Hunt, B. G., On the death of the atmosphere, J. Geophysical Research,
81, 3677-3687, 1976.

The experiment ran out to day 50, I think. The final global temperature
was surprisingly (to me) warm, ca. 190 K or so. Storm activity
declined, but not as much as I'd have thought. It is a most interesting
paper. Do check it out.


--
Bob Grumbine rm...@access.digex.net
Sagredo (Galileo Galilei) "You present these recondite matters with too much
evidence and ease; this great facility makes them less appreciated than they
would be had they been presented in a more abstruse manner." Two New Sciences

Ric Harwood

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Jan 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/30/96
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mv0...@uhura.cc.rochester.edu (Mark D. Vanderbilt) wrote:

> Although ice-skating from NY to Paris would be cool...

Not much view, with no sunlight though {;^(
Regards,

Ric.
--
PGP Key on Homepage: http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/~cjc/p2/index.htm
_____________________________________________________________
irl://nothing.agood.days/surfing/could_not/cure.exe


Joseph Bartlo

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Jan 31, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/31/96
to
Thank you for the few serious responses so far, and I plan to see
the JGR article. I am surprised more climate modelers have not
tried this experiment just out of curiosity. However, as our earth
continued to cool, some parameterizations and model processes may
cease to be valid.

Contrary to the decline of weather systems, I think quite violent
storms would occur; the main reason being that our oceans would
not immediately freeze. Lots of water vapor would be introduced
in extremely cold air, causing snows which would dwarf our present
lake-effect storms. After our oceans froze, then I think weather
would quickly diminish.


Josef

I. D. Kempson

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Jan 31, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/31/96
to
On 31 Jan 1996, Joseph Bartlo wrote:
> Contrary to the decline of weather systems, I think quite violent
> storms would occur; the main reason being that our oceans would
> not immediately freeze. Lots of water vapor would be introduced
> in extremely cold air, causing snows which would dwarf our present

Just a query about this, and i'll mae my apologies now...i'm more a
mathematician than a meteorologist/physict!! My understanding was that
water vapour 'gets into' the air as a result of of evaporation...i.e
heating by the sun. So if there's no sun i would have thought that this
water vapour wouldn't get in the air and would just freeze in the ocean.
One further point, what effect would ocean currents have??? are ocean
currents caused by heating effects?? if so does this mean they would
slowly weaken and eventually stop?? If currents continued to exist then
the ocean would probably freeze over at a faster rate than at others..i
think!!!

I'm expecting to be taken apart over this argument...but I'm not too
worried about it, in fact i would love to have the flaws in my argument
pointed out to me!!! So i look forward to hearing any replies.

Iain Kempson
Reading University
England

Trevor Battle -- WinTrumpet

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Jan 31, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/31/96
to
In article <4ei991$1...@news2.acs.oakland.edu> jba...@ouchem.chem.oakland.edu (Joseph Bartlo) writes:
>From: jba...@ouchem.chem.oakland.edu (Joseph Bartlo)
>Subject: What if our sun disappeared?
>Date: 29 Jan 1996 10:58:41 GMT

>I am not proposing such a thing will ever happen, but am curious if any
>climate modelers 'out there' have ever removed solar energy from their
>model to see what might result. How long would life exist on our planet
>(my guess is about 2 weeks for most things), what kinds of weather
>systems and storms may that cause, etc.?


>Josef


I am no expert scientist but here are a few guesses. The number of storms
would subside dramaticly with a significant reduction of wind speeds
worldwide. Obviously a new "extreme" iceage will form from the resultant loss
in tempatures. Oceans world wide will retreat as a result of Ice buildup over
the northern and southern latitudes (places like Cape Cod, New Orleans, and
Miami would gain hundreds of miles of new land). Obviously most, but not
all, of plant and animal life will become extinct. The only creatures I could
foresee surviving would be animals which live off of geothermal vents several
miles under the worlds oceans.

Trevor

"Jetstream Surfer"

Dennis Chamberlin

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Jan 31, 1996, 3:00:00 AM1/31/96
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gbr...@indy.net (Greg Brush) wrote:
>Andre Tornow (tor...@zedat-fu-berlin.de) wrote:

>I'm afraid I missed the first part of the thread, and I'm no geophysist,
>but wouldn't the sudden change in gravitational forces most likely cause
>the planet to have massive seismic upheavals (aside from flying out of
>our orbital path...which seems like the least of the problems)?
>

I would think not. This question seems to assume that the sun was
*gone*, as opposed to just went out--- not shining any more.

Under the General theory of Relativity, there is no way that any
of us can tell, by any measurement based on our own frame of
reference, whether we are orbiting under the influence of the
sun's gravity, or coasting along on our own. Exception: tidal
effects would disappear, and this would alter stress distribution
on the globe somewhat. But generally, if the sun's mass were
suddenly "switched off", I don't think any of us would feel a
thing.


Gerard J. Gonthier

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Feb 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/1/96
to

In article <Pine.SOL.3.91.960131...@suma3.reading.ac.uk>,

"I. D. Kempson" <smuk...@reading.ac.uk> writes:

> Just a query about this, and i'll mae my apologies now...i'm more a
> mathematician than a meteorologist/physict!! My understanding was that
> water vapour 'gets into' the air as a result of of evaporation...i.e
> heating by the sun. So if there's no sun i would have thought that this
> water vapour wouldn't get in the air and would just freeze in the ocean.
> One further point, what effect would ocean currents have??? are ocean
> currents caused by heating effects?? if so does this mean they would
> slowly weaken and eventually stop?? If currents continued to exist then
> the ocean would probably freeze over at a faster rate than at others..i
> think!!!
>
> I'm expecting to be taken apart over this argument...but I'm not too
> worried about it, in fact i would love to have the flaws in my argument
> pointed out to me!!! So i look forward to hearing any replies.
>
> Iain Kempson
> Reading University
> England
>

No problem.

The sun affect our weather in 3 ways:

1) Higher temperature.
2) Higher water vapor content.
3) Greater circulation.

Trade winds are caused by the sun's energy and is a dominant source
of oceanic currents. I don't think atmospheric and sea-surface temperature
would have any more than a very localized effect on ocean currents. Of
course I mean a direct effect (T gradient in the ocean). Temperature
gradient induces winds causes oceanic currents.

I agree that water vapor would be precipitated out and not rejuvenated.

> Just a query about this, and i'll mae my apologies now...i'm more a
> mathematician than a meteorologist/physict!!

No apologies needed. I myself am a Quasi Unorthodox Amature Pseudo
Meteorologist and I still have yet to apologize.

Gerard

Mark D. Vanderbilt

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Feb 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/1/96
to

>mv0...@uhura.cc.rochester.edu (Mark D. Vanderbilt) wrote:

>> Although ice-skating from NY to Paris would be cool...

>Not much view, with no sunlight though {;^(

Good point, but you could always wear a miner's helmet with the
headlight!


GREGOIRE DUBOIS

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Feb 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/2/96
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bob grochowski

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Feb 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/2/96
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I laughed `til I had tears in my eyes! Thank you Dave.

Robert - N5UPF

In article l...@hptemp1.cc.umr.edu, dst...@saucer.cc.umr.edu (Dave Stuart (dst...@umr.edu)) writes:
--Joseph Bartlo (jba...@ouchem.chem.oakland.edu) wrote:
--: I am not proposing such a thing will ever happen, but am curious if any
--: climate modelers 'out there' have ever removed solar energy from their
--: model to see what might result. How long would life exist on our planet
--: (my guess is about 2 weeks for most things), what kinds of weather
--: systems and storms may that cause, etc.?
--
--
--I am no professional but, I think it would get cold.
--
---- Dave Stuart
--dst...@umr.edu
--University of Missouri -- Rolla
--
--KB0SLY


David Johnson

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Feb 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/2/96
to
I am a little perplexed by the discussion regarding the Sun's
impact on the Earth, as there seems to be an acceptance of these
points:

>>Gerard J. Gonthier (gont...@usgs.gov) wrote:

: No problem.

: The sun affects our weather in 3 ways:

: 1) Higher temperature.
: 2) Higher water vapor content.
: 3) Greater circulation.<<

Is not the Sun [if Vega and Rigel deserve capitalization, then so
does our star!] responsible for almost ALL of our energy? Does it
make any sense to use the term "Higher temperature?" Perhaps we
could clarify our inquiries by establishing whether the amount of
heat escaping from the Earth's interior would make any significant
difference at all to a planet deprived of insolation.

Also, I have a feeling our descent into the ultimate freezer would
be faster than is being conveyed here. We haven't been specific
with projected rates of cooling, but how much usable heat is
contained in the Earth's oceans and how long would it last? What
radiation rate are we assuming once the Sun is turned off?

Isn't it amazing what only 194 tons [give or take a few] of
converted does for us each day?

David Johnson
Chula Vista CA


Joseph Bartlo

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Feb 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/2/96
to
I. D. Kempson (smuk...@reading.ac.uk) wrote:

: Just a query about this, and i'll mae my apologies now...i'm more a

: mathematician than a meteorologist/physict!! My understanding was that
: water vapour 'gets into' the air as a result of of evaporation...i.e
: heating by the sun. So if there's no sun i would have thought that this
: water vapour wouldn't get in the air and would just freeze in the ocean.

Evaporation certainly does not need heating by our sun to occur. You surely
must have seen fog over warm water during a cold morning. Directly above
any water surface, air is saturated, with water vapor molecules exiting and
entering its surface. Saturation vapor pressure of such water vapor is very
dependent on temperature. If temperature is increased by 10 C, air's ability
to contain water vapor doubles. Because of ocean currents and wind, mixing
would occur, which would inhibit freezing. Also considering that salt water's
freezing temp is about -4 C ?, I can envision that many (particularly tropical)
oceans may remain unfrozen while air average air temps at that latitude would
be at least 30 C lower. The great temperature difference between oceans and
air directly over it would cause a very unstable environment, leading to cloud
formation (and probably precipitation). However, temperature differneces
would probably cause convection cells to exist such that air over land blows
out to sea, with a lighter and broader compensating flow aloft.

Ocean circulations contain a lot of momentum, and I doubt they would cease
any time soon. In addition to wind stress, the 'Coriolis' effect is largely
responsible for maintaining their motions.

At least initially, atmospheric flow would have to adjust to changing
conditions; probably with strong storms because in some places temp gradients
would be greatly increased. Temperature gradients cause cyclones to occur,
with associated fronts and storms. However, once temps became so cold that
air could hold very little water vapor, precip could not be too abundant.
The JGR article sounds interesting, and probably answers some of these
questions.


Gerard J. Gonthier (gont...@usgs.gov) wrote:

: No problem.

: The sun affect our weather in 3 ways:

: 1) Higher temperature.
: 2) Higher water vapor content.
: 3) Greater circulation.

Well, that can be 1 way (by heating our earth and atmosphere); or many ways,
depending when someone decides that something is caused by something else.
But I get your point. However, please note my comments regarding water
vapor. Even for conditions which are presently experienced in Michigan,
just a little breeze across Lake Michigan is sufficient to cause a few
inches of snow downwind. Temperature gradients and differences would be
much greater than this in some places.


Josef

Richard Daines

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Feb 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/3/96
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david....@digcir.cts.com (David Johnson) wrote:
>Is not the Sun [if Vega and Rigel deserve capitalization, then so
>does our star!]
>
I believe the sun's proper name is Sol.
--
Richard J. Daines
Mystic, CT

rda...@q.continuum.net

Joseph Bartlo

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Feb 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/3/96
to
bob grochowski (rjgr...@aud.alcatel.com) wrote:

: I laughed `til I had tears in my eyes! Thank you Dave.

I hope I never am around you if you ever hear something that is really funny.
Or look in a mirror or something... :)


Josef

I. D. Kempson

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Feb 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/3/96
to
On 2 Feb 1996, Joseph Bartlo wrote:
>
> Evaporation certainly does not need heating by our sun to occur. You surely
> must have seen fog over warm water during a cold morning. Directly above
> any water surface, air is saturated, with water vapor molecules exiting and
> entering its surface. Saturation vapor pressure of such water vapor is very
> dependent on temperature. If temperature is increased by 10 C, air's ability
> to contain water vapor doubles.

Yes ok i'll agree to this point, but this started with the sun not being
there....therefore surely the water wont be warm...without any heating it
will cool down! So the water will be cooler and as you have stated
above there will be less evaporation as evaporation is determined by
water temperature which was my original point. So as i said before, less
evaporation implies less 'cloud' and less rainfall and storms...another
point which i think has already been mentioned is that tropical storms,
such as hurricanes, would disappear as they require sea surface
temperatures of about 25 deg celsius (i think). Of course, due to the
specific heat capacity of the oceans, i.e the ability to hold heat, the
number of storms would decrease slowly and not disapppear from occurence
immediately.

> would occur, which would inhibit freezing. Also considering that salt water's
> freezing temp is about -4 C ?, I can envision that many (particularly tropical)

ok, salt water freezes at a lower temperature, but surely with no solar
heating temperatures would be below -4 deg celsius so the oceans would
still freeze, but as for the same reason as before they would freeze
gradually over a relatively long time.


Well ok these points are probably fundamentally floored...but thats the
way i see things!! :)

Ryals

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Feb 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/5/96
to
jba...@ouchem.chem.oakland.edu (Joseph Bartlo) wrote:
>
> Thank you for the few serious responses so far, and I plan to see
> the JGR article. I am surprised more climate modelers have not
> tried this experiment just out of curiosity. However, as our earth
> continued to cool, some parameterizations and model processes may
> cease to be valid.
>
> Contrary to the decline of weather systems, I think quite violent
> storms would occur; the main reason being that our oceans would
> not immediately freeze. Lots of water vapor would be introduced
> in extremely cold air, causing snows which would dwarf our present
> lake-effect storms. After our oceans froze, then I think weather
> would quickly diminish.
>
>
> Josef


I think that most of the points were applicable to some degree or
another, with time as the main factor of dispute. How long would
any one aspect of the survival or the change to a system be applicable
before it was overcome by the cold, or darkness for that matter.

I would point out what happend, (and how quickly it happened), to the
astronauts on their recent space walk, when they turned the satellite
that they were working on away from the sun, blocking the sun from
directly warming them.

Some variables could blow the whole thing right out of the realistic
reach of any model, scale, or other forms of estimation and speculation.


Good post Joseph,

Rick


Gerard J. Gonthier

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Feb 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/5/96
to


How much heat comes from the Earth's interior?
How much heat comes from the Sun?

In article <9602021...@digcir.cts.com>, david....@digcir.cts.com (David Johnson) writes:
> I am a little perplexed by the discussion regarding the Sun's
> impact on the Earth, as there seems to be an acceptance of these
> points:
>

> >>Gerard J. Gonthier (gont...@usgs.gov) wrote:
>
> : No problem.
>

> : The sun affects our weather in 3 ways:


An increase of Sun's energy into our atmosphere would
lead to:


>
> : 1) Higher temperature.
> : 2) Higher water vapor content.
> : 3) Greater circulation.<<
>

> Is not the Sun [if Vega and Rigel deserve capitalization, then so

> does our star!] responsible for almost ALL of our energy? Does it
> make any sense to use the term "Higher temperature?" Perhaps we
> could clarify our inquiries by establishing whether the amount of
> heat escaping from the Earth's interior would make any significant
> difference at all to a planet deprived of insolation.

What would happen if the Earth was completely covered by a blanket
of material in the stratosphere that 1) kept 100% of Sun's energy
from the Earth, and 2) kept 100% of the Earth's internal heat from
escaping into space except for black body radiation? I would guess
that when thermal equilibrium was reached that the temperature of the
Earth's surface would be >1000C.

Of course your asking for E/(S+E) where E is the heat that comes
from the Earth's interior and S is the energy from the Sun in the
form of heat. Any takers?


>
> Also, I have a feeling our descent into the ultimate freezer would
> be faster than is being conveyed here. We haven't been specific
> with projected rates of cooling, but how much usable heat is
> contained in the Earth's oceans and how long would it last? What
> radiation rate are we assuming once the Sun is turned off?

I agree with Josef that atmospheric circulation would be
caused by thermal gradients that would quickly form between the
continents and the oceans. ITCZ'd migth paralell mid oceanic
ridges (I'm getting creative).

Frederic Fabry

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Feb 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/5/96
to
In article <4f5gev$d...@qvarsx.er.usgs.gov>, gont...@usgs.gov (Gerard J. Gonthier) writes:
|>
|>
|>
|> How much heat comes from the Earth's interior?
|> How much heat comes from the Sun?

My (very far away) reminiscence of radiation-produced heat for the Earth
was something like 0.1-1 W/m2 vs the 340 W/m2 provided by the Sun (on top
of the atmosphere).

|> What would happen if the Earth was completely covered by a blanket
|> of material in the stratosphere that 1) kept 100% of Sun's energy
|> from the Earth, and 2) kept 100% of the Earth's internal heat from
|> escaping into space except for black body radiation? I would guess
|> that when thermal equilibrium was reached that the temperature of the
|> Earth's surface would be >1000C.

Now wait a minute!!!!

*WITH* the Sun "on", the Earth's primary way to reach thermal equilibrium
*IS* via "black body like" radiation! So with 340 W/m2, we have a
surface temperature of 289 K (16 C). Care to guess what would happen with
even 1 (ONE) W/m2 ?!?

Assuming 1 W/m2 blackbody radiation somewhere in the stratosphere (where?),
and assuming your material is a blackbody at far infrared wavelengths,
we have E = 5.67*10^-8 T^4 = 1 Watt --> T stratosphere = 65 K (-208 C).

How that would translate to surface temperature is an interesting problem.
At most, you can expect 10C/km warming below the material level; however in
that case, if the "stuff" is at 25 km altitude, we may reach above 0C
temperature at the surface! And if the stuff is higher?

Frederic Fabry

Robert Grumbine

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Feb 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/6/96
to
In article <4f5nsc$2...@ncar.ucar.edu>,

Frederic Fabry <fa...@scupper.atd.ucar.edu> wrote:
>In article <4f5gev$d...@qvarsx.er.usgs.gov>, gont...@usgs.gov (Gerard J. Gonthier) writes:
>|>
>|> How much heat comes from the Earth's interior?
>|> How much heat comes from the Sun?
>
>My (very far away) reminiscence of radiation-produced heat for the Earth
>was something like 0.1-1 W/m2 vs the 340 W/m2 provided by the Sun (on top
>of the atmosphere).

Average for the geothermal heat flux is order 0.05 W/m2.

>*WITH* the Sun "on", the Earth's primary way to reach thermal equilibrium
>*IS* via "black body like" radiation! So with 340 W/m2, we have a
>surface temperature of 289 K (16 C). Care to guess what would happen with
>even 1 (ONE) W/m2 ?!?
>
>Assuming 1 W/m2 blackbody radiation somewhere in the stratosphere (where?),
>and assuming your material is a blackbody at far infrared wavelengths,
>we have E = 5.67*10^-8 T^4 = 1 Watt --> T stratosphere = 65 K (-208 C).

... and with 0.05 Watts, less than half that temperature.

Side note: With the increase in human power generation, if it continues,
we'll be producing/releasing more heat than the earth does at the surface
some time in my life. (This was already regionally true in the late
1960's - early 1970's, when the SMIC report was produced.)

Gerard J. Gonthier

unread,
Feb 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/6/96
to Frederic Fabry

In article <4f5nsc$2...@ncar.ucar.edu>, fa...@scupper.atd.ucar.edu (Frederic Fabry) writes:
>
> My (very far away) reminiscence of radiation-produced heat for the Earth
> was something like 0.1-1 W/m2 vs the 340 W/m2 provided by the Sun (on top
> of the atmosphere).

Thanks.

>
> |> What would happen if the Earth was completely covered by a blanket
> |> of material in the stratosphere that 1) kept 100% of Sun's energy
> |> from the Earth, and 2) kept 100% of the Earth's internal heat from
> |> escaping into space except for black body radiation? I would guess
> |> that when thermal equilibrium was reached that the temperature of the
> |> Earth's surface would be >1000C.
>
> Now wait a minute!!!!
>

> *WITH* the Sun "on", the Earth's primary way to reach thermal equilibrium
> *IS* via "black body like" radiation! So with 340 W/m2, we have a
> surface temperature of 289 K (16 C). Care to guess what would happen with
> even 1 (ONE) W/m2 ?!?
>
> Assuming 1 W/m2 blackbody radiation somewhere in the stratosphere (where?),
> and assuming your material is a blackbody at far infrared wavelengths,
> we have E = 5.67*10^-8 T^4 = 1 Watt --> T stratosphere = 65 K (-208 C).
>

> How that would translate to surface temperature is an interesting problem.
> At most, you can expect 10C/km warming below the material level; however in
> that case, if the "stuff" is at 25 km altitude, we may reach above 0C
> temperature at the surface! And if the stuff is higher?
>
> Frederic Fabry

I was being misleading and not fully explaining the situation.
I was imagining a spherical shield covering the troposphere that
had a very low heat conductivity. Then the heat of the Earth's
interior >1000C would eventually make its way to the surface
and all the way to the inner side of the sphere.

It seems like a trivial, silly mental exercise but from it, I am
begining to see the importance of the heat conductivity of the
atmosphere (and dense aerosol).

I have heard the term "nuclear winter" pertaining to dust covering
the Earth's atmosphere, increasing the albedo, and causing it to get
cold, but I have wondered that the dust would also blanket the Earth
holding that 1 or so W/m^2 and causing a warming effect. The heat
conductivity of the dust covered atmosphere would help determine the
surface temperature.

Thanks,


Gerard Gonthier


Robert Grumbine

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Feb 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/7/96
to
In article <4f8967$d...@qvarsx.er.usgs.gov>,

Gerard J. Gonthier <gont...@usgs.gov> wrote:
>
>In article <4f5nsc$2...@ncar.ucar.edu>, fa...@scupper.atd.ucar.edu (Frederic Fabry) writes:
>>
>> |> What would happen if the Earth was completely covered by a blanket
>> |> of material in the stratosphere that 1) kept 100% of Sun's energy
>> |> from the Earth, and 2) kept 100% of the Earth's internal heat from
>> |> escaping into space except for black body radiation? I would guess
>> |> that when thermal equilibrium was reached that the temperature of the
>> |> Earth's surface would be >1000C.
>>
>> Now wait a minute!!!!
>>
>> *WITH* the Sun "on", the Earth's primary way to reach thermal equilibrium
>> *IS* via "black body like" radiation! So with 340 W/m2, we have a
>> surface temperature of 289 K (16 C). Care to guess what would happen with
>> even 1 (ONE) W/m2 ?!?
>>
>> Assuming 1 W/m2 blackbody radiation somewhere in the stratosphere (where?),
>> and assuming your material is a blackbody at far infrared wavelengths,
>> we have E = 5.67*10^-8 T^4 = 1 Watt --> T stratosphere = 65 K (-208 C).
>>
>I was being misleading and not fully explaining the situation.
>I was imagining a spherical shield covering the troposphere that
>had a very low heat conductivity. Then the heat of the Earth's
>interior >1000C would eventually make its way to the surface
>and all the way to the inner side of the sphere.

If your shield only stopped thermal _conduction_ (which is
how Mr. Fabry and I, and probably anyone familiar with at
least meteorology will read it), then you are permitting
thermal _radiation_ to go through the sheild. As long as
this is the case, Mr. Fabry's calculation (modified for
a more accurate geothermal heat flux, something like 0.05 W/m2)
is correct.

If you stop all energy and mass transfer across some line in the
stratosphere -- conduction, convection, and radiation -- then the
interior would eventually become isothermal. The temperature it would
be isothermal _at_ is a different matter. You have an internal heat
source (radioactive decay) and no heat sinks (by your design if extended
to include blocking thermal radiation).

>I have heard the term "nuclear winter" pertaining to dust covering
>the Earth's atmosphere, increasing the albedo, and causing it to get
>cold, but I have wondered that the dust would also blanket the Earth
>holding that 1 or so W/m^2 and causing a warming effect. The heat
>conductivity of the dust covered atmosphere would help determine the
>surface temperature.

The nuclear winter effect is not due to increased albedo, rather the
reverse! The effect was that the dust in the stratosphere would absorb
solar energy before it had a chance to reach the surface. This would
lead to a warmer stratosphere and colder surface, a stable state of affairs.

The _radiative_ blanketing effect (the dust particles would also
tend to slow the loss of heat from the lower atmosphere by absorbing
some of the outgoing energy and re-radiating it back towards the
surface) was indeed considered.

There is _no_ heat conductivity effect of any measurable or important
degree. Energy in the atmosphere is carried by convection (warm
air rising, cold air falling) or by radiation.

(Aside, dust doesn't and can't 'cover' the atmosphere. It floats
around _in_ the atmosphere.)

Eric P. Salathe, Jr.

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Feb 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/7/96
to
The model adopted in discussions here has been to consider the radiative
cooling of an atmosphereless Earth and then consider the atmospheric
response to the resulting surface forcing. This model gives a rapid cooling
rate (basically govered by sea-surface temperature, ocean mixing, and the
heat capacity of the oceans). The continents would cool even more rapidly.
The circulation according to this model would become something like NH
winter over the Indian ocean: large scale descent over the cooler land and
rising motion over the oceans. I think this picture is overly simplified.
This model provides a certain stability. The T**4 radiative cooling rate
drops quickly with temperature, so the rate of cooling slows as the suface
cools. Also, the oceans provide a large heat reservoir that must be mixed.
The climate system, however, is probably even more stable.

This stability is suggested by GCM runs presented by Hunt (1976, JGR 81
p3677) who ran a 50-day simulation of "the death of a planet". Hunt found a
much slower cooling rate than anticipated. Most significant, the
equator-pole temperature gradient persists and a westerly jet continued to
dominate the circulation. The model eventually becomes baroclinically
stable, so eddy energy drops rapidly, but it retains a "memory" of its
baroclinicity. This model is too primative to fully resolve the problem,
since, for one, it does not account for ocean response. There must be some
thermohaline circulation (ie deep ocean) response to freezing the mixed
layer, which would help transport heat out of the ocean into the atmosphere
and cause the Earth to cool even more slowly. Secondly, in the radiaion
scheme, water vapor is held at climatological values, whereas the
precipitable water drops dramatically as the atmosphere cools. Hunt suggests
this simplification causes the simulation to overestimate the cooling rate
even more. This is not obvious. Nevertheless, the relative humidity does
increase dramatically, which would help lower the cooing rate. The most
significant result, which I believe is reliable, is that the climate
response seems to rely more on what happens in the atmosphere than at the
surface.

I think the conclusion is that the radiative forcing of the atmosphere
(so-called greenhouse effect) creates a certain thermal inertia in the
climate system. Decreased atmospheric temperatures coupled with increase
relative humidity would quench radiative cooling. Furthermore, the lack of
surface heating would eliminate cumulous convection, and therby the
principle mechanism for surface cooling.

This certainly is an interesting thought-experiment. It gets at what
maintains the climate system and its stability. Someone must have done a
more recent death planet GCM run - probably summer students at NCAR - I
wonder how well Hunt's results hold up in newer models.
--
,
Eric P. Salathe, Jr. sal...@atmos.washington.edu
Seattle, Washington http://atmos.washington.edu/~salathe

Fumie Saito

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Feb 11, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/11/96
to
In article <4fa107$b...@access2.digex.net>, rm...@access2.digex.net says...
You guys have so much acknowledge about the moteorology. I don't. Please
share your interest with me!


Gerard J. Gonthier

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Feb 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/13/96
to

In article <4flvqu$e...@mark.ucdavis.edu>, fks...@ucdavis.edu (Fumie Saito) writes:

> You guys have so much acknowledge about the moteorology. I don't. Please
> share your interest with me!
>

Keep reading, thinking, and asking questions.
We're all learning.

Gerard

Dale Foote

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Feb 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/14/96
to
In article <4es4dm$p...@news2.acs.oakland.edu> jba...@ouchem.chem.oakland.edu (Joseph Bartlo) writes:
>From: jba...@ouchem.chem.oakland.edu (Joseph Bartlo)
>Subject: Re: What if our sun disappeared?
>Date: 2 Feb 1996 04:37:10 GMT

>I. D. Kempson (smuk...@reading.ac.uk) wrote:


>Ocean circulations contain a lot of momentum, and I doubt they would cease
>any time soon. In addition to wind stress, the 'Coriolis' effect is largely
>responsible for maintaining their motions.


I believe you wrong on this point. The coriolis will cause currents to veer
to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern
Hemisphere. The affect that the coriolis has on current motion is directly
proportional to velocity. If velocity = 0, the percieves coriolis force = 0.
Therefore the coriolis force will not help maintain any residual currents.
Dale Foote
Memorial University

Grant W. Petty

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Feb 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/14/96
to
In article <kennethf....@garfield.cs.mun.ca>,

Perhaps more to the point: the Coriolis force (which BTW is really a
pseudoforce that appears to exist only from the perspective of someone
in a rotating frame of reference) always acts exactly at right angles
to the existing flow. There is therefore no component of motion in the
same direction as the force; therefore, the Coriolis force cannot add
kinetic energy to the flow.

--
Grant W. Petty gpe...@rain.atms.purdue.edu
Assoc. Prof. of Atmospheric Science
Dept. of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences (317) 494-2544
Purdue University, West Lafayette IN 47907-1397 FAX:(317) 496-1210

Joseph Bartlo

unread,
Feb 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/20/96
to
Grant W. Petty (gpe...@rain.atms.purdue.edu) wrote:
: In article <kennethf....@garfield.cs.mun.ca>,

: Dale Foote <kenn...@garfield.cs.mun.ca> wrote:
: >In article <4es4dm$p...@news2.acs.oakland.edu> jba...@ouchem.chem.oakland.edu (Joseph Bartlo) writes:
: >>Ocean circulations contain a lot of momentum, and I doubt they would cease
: >>any time soon. In addition to wind stress, the 'Coriolis' effect is largely
: >>responsible for maintaining their motions.
: >
: >I believe you wrong on this point. The coriolis will cause currents to veer
: >to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern
: >Hemisphere. The affect that the coriolis has on current motion is directly
: >proportional to velocity. If velocity = 0, the percieves coriolis force = 0.
: >Therefore the coriolis force will not help maintain any residual currents.
: >Dale Foote
: >Memorial University

: Perhaps more to the point: the Coriolis force (which BTW is really a
: pseudoforce that appears to exist only from the perspective of someone
: in a rotating frame of reference) always acts exactly at right angles
: to the existing flow. There is therefore no component of motion in the
: same direction as the force; therefore, the Coriolis force cannot add
: kinetic energy to the flow.

Nowhere did I ever state that the 'Coriols effect' creates ocean
circulation. What I did state is that its turning of moving water
is largely responsible for observed large-scale motion. For example;
in the Atlantic Ocean, water flows westward, curves right along
North America (causing the jet stream), and continues to circulate
likewise to Europe and then equatorward.

Please do not attempt to confuse people regarding this simple concept.
If you or someone else does not like me, then just say that :)


Josef

Joseph Bartlo

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Feb 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/20/96
to
Joseph Bartlo (jba...@ouchem.chem.oakland.edu) wrote:

: circulation. What I did state is that its turning of moving water


: is largely responsible for observed large-scale motion. For example;
: in the Atlantic Ocean, water flows westward, curves right along
: North America (causing the jet stream), and continues to circulate
: likewise to Europe and then equatorward.

To ellaborate, the 'Coriolis' effect causes meridional flow which
would be necessary to transport very warm water poleward, causing
large heat fluxes I spoke of.


Josef

Joseph Bartlo

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Feb 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/21/96
to
Joseph Bartlo (jba...@ouchem.chem.oakland.edu) wrote:

: in the Atlantic Ocean, water flows westward, curves right along
: North America (causing the jet stream), and continues to circulate
: likewise to Europe and then equatorward.

Obviously I meant the Gulf Stream, but from lack of responses
I see that for several reasons interest in this thread has
diminished.


Josef

Jacques Marcoux

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Feb 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/22/96
to
>>>>> "Joseph" == Joseph Bartlo <jba...@ouchem.chem.oakland.edu> writes:
In article <4gd522$a...@news2.acs.oakland.edu> jba...@ouchem.chem.oakland.edu (Joseph Bartlo) writes:


Joseph> Grant W. Petty (gpe...@rain.atms.purdue.edu) wrote: : In
Joseph> article <kennethf....@garfield.cs.mun.ca>, : Dale
Joseph> Foote <kenn...@garfield.cs.mun.ca> wrote: : >In article
Joseph> <4es4dm$p...@news2.acs.oakland.edu>
Joseph> jba...@ouchem.chem.oakland.edu (Joseph Bartlo) writes: :
[-------%<-------------]
Joseph> large-scale motion. For example; in the Atlantic Ocean,
Joseph> water flows westward, curves right along North America
Joseph> (causing the jet stream), and continues to circulate
Joseph> likewise to Europe and then equatorward.

Errr.... gulf stream naybe?
--
_______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______
__/\______\__/\______\__/\______\__/\______\__/\______\__/\______\__/\______\
/\_\/______/\_\/______/\_\/______/\_\/______/\_\/______/\_\/______/\_\/______/
\/_/ \/_/ \/_/ \/_/ \/_/ \/_/ \/_/

Jacques Marcoux jmar...@cmc.aes.doe.ca 514.421.4794


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