The Irrelevance of Geothermal Heat Flux

You’ve probably heard it before: the geothermal heat flux is so small (91.6 mW/m²) that it can be effectively ignored in Earth’s energy budget. The first part is true, the heat flux is small, but this fact is completely irrelevant. And what is relevant is popularly denied and masked as something else.

I’ve already explained the problem here and here. Unfortunately not everyone understood the point I was trying to make, so I made a visualization:

Various Profiles with the same Geothermal Heat Flux (CF). Emissivity=1

CF (Conductive Flux) is the Geothermal Heat Flux, EF is the Emergent Geothermal Flux, Th and Tc are the temperatures of the hot side and cold side. d is depth. Compatibility with my previous terminology: CF = CHF and EF = CSR.

As you can see all of these profiles have the same geothermal heat flux (CF), and all of them produce a very different emergent flux (EF) out of the surface. The popularly stated geothermal heat flux is NOT a value that you can compare to insolation. The value itself gives you NO clue as to what can emerge at the top. Anyone telling you otherwise is stupid or lying.

The geothermal heat flux and the thermal conductivity factor determines the temperature gradient. A gradient can never tell you either what kinetic energy is at the bottom or the top. Never.

So what really emerges at the top on Earth? In this visualization, the closest answer is ~5°C or ~340 W/m² – what was calculated and observed here and here. ~340 W/m² is what is claimed for the total greenhouse gas backradiation effect, as shown in the “official” energy budget here. That’s not surprising, because the greenhouse gas effect is secretly just geothermal flipped upside down. It’s the biggest scam in climate science, and you heard it here first.

Geothermal provides a tremendous amount of energy, even more than the sun, but climate scientists ignore it because they are looking at a component of a gradient/slope measure, rather than the temperature (kinetic energy) it delivers to the surface.

I invite everyone to give this some serious thought and not just dismiss it using sophistry.

Love, -Zoe


  1. Geothermal Heat Flux (CF) is a very useful value for commercial geothermal energy prospectors, but not for atmospheric scientists creating an energy budget. EF is what they need to use. They do use it, but they flip it upside down and call it GHE.
  2. The temperature gradient value used is 27.5 °C/km, which I got from here: “it is about 25–30 °C/km”. This makes k = 0.333 W/(m*K).

8 thoughts on “The Irrelevance of Geothermal Heat Flux

  1. “… because the greenhouse gas effect is just geothermal flipped upside down.”

    Boom …

    Man, this is gonna trigger Cognitive Dissonance to the point of cognitive epilepsy Zoe.

    Well done indeed.

    Would you cover the permafrost that is deeper than 10m?

    An exploration of the atmosheric warming effect of cloud cover deep into antarctic winters (when the effect of the sun is essentally absent) would perhaps be interesting too, as it suggests that geothermal is very significant indeed. I know you deal with surface T but nonetheless it might be illustrative.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A whole map is provided here:

      Many think that this latitude distribution means it can’t be geothermal. This is false.

      The geotherm is simply more oblate than the surface of the Earth. This is a result of hot magma rotating inside a semi-hard shell. The centripetal force causes a geothermal bulge.

      What this means is that there is more distance to the same temperature at the poles than the equator. Thus causing a latitudinal distribution.


  2. I have done a graph in a single constant scale showing the earth + atmosphere temperature profile all together, and the first thing that comes to mind is “how the heck is it possible that (almost) no one is considering geothermal”…I would post it here but I don’t think it’s possible. And then you Zoe are way better than me at doing these things 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scientist (Satire):

      The geothermal heat flux is small. Don’t need to look into it further than that.

      I don’t care that my feet are burning on a hot plate. A gradient/slope measure is small! My feet must be burning due to the sun and atmosphere. It has to be this way because an irrelevant measure is small.”

      Climate scientists are pack animals and their god is Fourier, the geothermal denier.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Zoe, I’d love to say that I’m comprehending your work in a way that I can repeat it in conversation but unfortunately I just can’t. The time it takes to absorb and comprehend, within context, the terminology is proving too difficult for a part-time reader with my ability. I was closer a few months ago (sigh)… In any event, I intuitively see that you’re onto something important, and I comprehend from a macro viewpoint just not enough to raise it in conversation. But I’ll continue my attempt. Question: are there any scientists that have embraced your ‘GHGT is really geothermal flipped theory’? Also, I recall John O’Sullivan stating in some thread on Principia Scientific that he would publish your work when you were ready to do so – has anything come of that? regards, Nicky

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Nicky.
      No, no one with a bigger audience has embraced my ideas. John might help, but I see he hasn’t accepted it himself. So what’s the point?

      The idea is simple. The planets are not complete slaves to the sun. They have their own thermal energy. The sun adds to it, creating the surface temperatures we observe. Fourier was a geothermal denier; he claimed the extra warming came from the atmosphere. Since he said it, it must be true. All climate scientists uncritically followed him.

      The idea is easy to understand but responding to all the silly sophistic objections you will receive, is indeed very difficult. Their premises are false, but they don’t know that.

      I haven’t yet seen anyone defend my ideas in detail, but some have managed to summarize it briefly.

      Thank you for the support. I really appreciate it.

      How can I make this material easier to understand?


      1. Hi Zoe, honestly there’s nothing wrong with your explanation – it lays in my comprehension and ability to articulate. Regarding John O’Sullivan accepting your theory; does he need to? I got the impression he would publish it regardless? If this was the case, I would encourage you to submit something irrespective of his current opinion. If it were submitted then he would be forced to ponder it more closely, and then perhaps it would resonate. In any case, keep up the great work. You’re inspiring. Nicky


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