Fourier’s Accidental Confession

Fourier is considered a direct predecessor to mainstream climatology. Mainstream climatology follows him and purposefully neglects geothermal energy in Earth’s energy budget due to the belief that it is too small. This then allows them to make the outrageous claim that it is IR-absorbing gases in the atmosphere that boosts surface temperatures to what we measure with thermometers.

So is it true that geothermal is negligible?

According to Fourier’s translated 1827 paper:

The effect of the primitive heat which the globe has retained has therefore
become essentially imperceptible at the Earth’s surface …

the effect of the interior heat is no longer perceptible at the surface of the Earth

– Temperatures of the Terrestrial Sphere, Page 15

Well that looks settled. Doesn’t it? Let’s see the whole context:

Temperatures of the Terrestrial Sphere, Page 15

This is a very curious paragraph, for it admits too much.

The only way to melt ice is to provide at least 0°C worth of energy. Right?

0°C is not “negligible”, now is it?

I can already hear my critics saying: “But Zoe, he said over a century!”

Sure. It’s so marginally over 0°C, that it takes a century to melt 3 cubic meters of ice. So what? It’s still at least 0°C. And it’s coming from the Earth.

Fourier contradicts himself when he claims Earth’s internal heat is imperceptible. Is ice melting not perceptible? What if he chose dry ice? More perceptible. What about nitrogen or oxygen “ice”? Even more perceptible!

Is 0°C correct? What do modern geophysicists think?

https://www.routledgehandbooks.com/doi/10.1201/9781315371436-4

Same thing! 0°C is still the convention.

The radiative equivalent of 0°C at emissivity=1 is 315.6 W/m²

Can this really be excluded from the energy budget? No.

What’s the significance of this?

It means the greenhouse effect is junk science. The surface has enough energy from geothermal and solar to explain surface temperatures.

I have two previous articles describing how the geothermal contribution can be computed more accurately using two different methods:

https://phzoe.com/2020/02/13/measuring-geothermal-a-revolutionary-hypothesis/

https://phzoe.com/2020/02/25/deducing-geothermal/

It’s nice to know that the geothermal hypothesis was accidently scientifically supported by the very guy that unfortunately rejected it. A guy who modern academics follow uncritically. The answer was right beneath his feet, but unfortunately his head was in the clouds. Because of him, modern academics truly believe that it is the atmosphere that provides raw energy to the surface, rather than geothermal. What a colossal mistake. They flipped reality completely upside down.

While my critics like to claim that geothermal can only provide ~36 Kelvin because they applied Stefan-Boltzmann formula to the small conductive heat flux of 91.6 mW/m², actual scientists know that geothermal can melt ice. And this knowledge is 200 years old! When are climate scientists going to wake up?

-Zoe

19 thoughts on “Fourier’s Accidental Confession

  1. I am sooo grateful for this. A competent oil engineer I debate keeps replying to thermometer readings with vague allusions to the extent of inaccessible glaciers sprawling over huge areas liberally sprinkled and underlain with decay-chain elements conveniently ignored.

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  2. “While my critics like to claim that geothermal can only provide ~36 Kelvin because they applied Stefan-Boltzmann formula to the small conductive heat flux of 91.6 W/m², actual scientists know that geothermal can melt ice.”

    It doesn’t melt ice as well as warms water.
    Because ice conduct heat better than water.
    Or we should not have glacial ice in the world which is million year old if ice was a more poorer conductor of heat.

    Ice (0 C, 32 F): 2.18 W/(m K)
    Water: 0.606 W/(m K)
    So, ice conducts heat about 3.5 times better than water.
    Granite: 1.7 – 4.0 W/(m K)
    [Ice conducts better than some kinds of granite and worse than other types of granite.]
    Brick dense 1.31
    Brick, fire 0.47
    Brick, insulating 0.15
    Brickwork, common (Building Brick) 0.6 -1.0
    Brickwork, dense 1.6
    Glass, window 0.96
    Ice conduct heat better than brick or the glass of windows.
    https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html

    When Fourier said could melt 3 meter of ice in century, I don’t think he allowing ice conducting the heat, rather just
    referring joules of energy needed to cause ice to become water or 334,000 joules heat to melt 1 kg of ice.
    3 cubic meter of water is 3000 kg. 3 cubic meter of ice is 934 kg per cubic meter, or 3 x 934 = 2,802 kg
    times 334,000 = 935,868,000 joules per 100 years. 100 years = 3.154e+9 seconds
    935,868,000 / 3,154,000,000 = 0.2967 joules per second or watt seconds or 296.7 mW [though will note, above it
    said it’s 318 mW ]
    So if had 3 meter ice AND stacked a whole lot insulation above the ice, then it would melt it in 100 years- though he is off, and so it would take about 300 years of joules of heat of geothermal energy.
    Or about 1 meter of ice per century.

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    1. Uhuh.
      I actually edited my original article which included a rebuttal to this type of argument. That was a mistake. Here’s the gist of what I took out:

      Heat doesn’t work like that!

      Perhaps over millenia we could melt steel?

      How much energy from a cheap LED? Maybe if we accumulate joules from that we could also melt steel over time?

      Can we cook a turkey by placing it in front of the TV? How much time is needed for that?

      The south pole gets ~180 W/m^2 averaged throughout the year. Why is there still ice? Why doesn’t that 180 W/m^2 accumulate over time to melt the ice? Why would you think 318 or 91.6 mW/m^2 could do something that 180 W/m^2 can’t do?

      You know the answer. This is silly. Geothermal provides at least 0C, or the equivalent of 315.6 W/m^2 (emis=1).

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      1. “The south pole gets ~180 W/m^2 averaged throughout the year.”
        180 times 24 hours equals 4,320 watt hours per day or 4.32 kw hour per day.
        South pole does not get 4.32 kw hours on average per day of sunlight, Nor does Germany. Nor Canada.
        If they did, solar power might be useful in Canada or the south pole.

        “Why doesn’t that 180 W/m^2 accumulate over time to melt the ice?”
        The ice is always evaporating and condensing. You need about -150 C to stop ice from evaporating..
        Coldness doesn’t have much to do with forming a glacier. It largely to do with snowing. And coldness can reduce snow fall.
        Anyhow, you actually didn’t say how south pole gets 180 W/m^2, but if meant in form of sunlight, it doesn’t, they other ways to add joule of heat to south pole- such warmer transported air and latent heat from water vapor. But if meant warmer air and latent heat, then that sort of explains why you have ice at south pole.

        Or Canada’s average temperature is minus 4 C- why isn’t covered by glaciers? Answer given above- it’s not mostly about temperature or amount sunlight.
        But I can ask you question why is Antarctica glacial ice somewhere around -40 C and Greenland about -30 C {it can much colder in either one}. Or if “Geothermal provides at least 0C” that is impossible.
        But “Geothermal provides at least 0C” doesn’t have meaning unless one is including insulation.
        Or if had same geothermal energy as on Earth being on Moon it’s not going 0 C at the surface of Moon.
        So if dig deep enough on Moon, you can find the same geothermal energy as on Earth and then can use super conducting material to bring this “Earth geothermal energy” to the lunar surface. And if you did, it’s not going to be 0 C {unless it’s insulated it so it would not radiate into space}.

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        1. re-visit this: “While my critics like to claim that geothermal can only provide ~36 Kelvin because they applied Stefan-Boltzmann formula to the small conductive heat flux of 91.6 W/m², actual scientists know that geothermal can melt ice.”
          Your idiot critics could right if talking about being in vacuum of space {like the Moon} and if not having any insulation- btw “everything” has some insulation. So they could mean if had “ideal conductive blackbody” or something that does not exist in this universe, other than in imagination “scientists”. Or said it’s ideal or perfect or could not work better {in theory}.
          Diamond and plasma and whatever can work “pretty good”. For mortals, copper and silver work good enough for most purposes.

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        2. No insulation can increase the real time INTRINSIC quantity known as temperature. Molecules do not move more vigorously because you blocked them with something else. FACT. The output will never exceed the input.

          Now of course insulation does prevent LOSS. But saving loss is not a gain. It’s not a gain over the input.

          This whole thing is ridiculous. The conductive heat flux (CHF) has a vertical component. It’s not in the same plane as an emitting surface, and so you can’t use SB Law on it.

          https://phzoe.com/2020/05/22/equating-perpendicular-planes-is-plain-nonsense/

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        3. ‘Or if “Geothermal provides at least 0C” that is impossible.’

          0C is the convention for a global AVERAGE.

          It actually varies. You can see it by latitude here:
          https://phzoe.com/2020/02/13/measuring-geothermal-a-revolutionary-hypothesis/

          Strange, I don’t know where I got the 180 figure, but it’s actually ~21 W/m^2. Same argument though.

          The moon’s internal energy near the surface is ~105K.

          Stop nitpicking. You know you can’t add up joules over a period of time and then claim a temperature rise.

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        4. “No insulation can increase the real time INTRINSIC quantity known as temperature. Molecules do not move more vigorously because you blocked them with something else. FACT. The output will never exceed the input.”

          So you heat up ball of steel. Say, 4″ radius sphere of solid steel. Put it furnace, heat it until it glows orange, then remove it from the furnace. You can NOT make the ball of steel hotter by surrounding it with insulation, but can make the ball steel cool quicker or slower.

          Now, lets another 4″ radius sphere of solid steel, but going heated by having radioactive material in it. Say designed to have a near constant energy output for 100 years. And if sphere on brick in 20 C air, it’s surface temperature is designed to be about 100 C. If instead put sphere in 20 C water, it will have lower temperature. But whether it’s in air or water, the sphere will have constant energy output {as the energy depends radioactive decay which is constant – the material 1/2 life doesn’t alter due being in water or air].
          Earth is like steel ball heated in furnace, and its heated radioactive decay, and tidal heating and {plus even other factors}.
          But We {or I } are not talking about making the huge hot rock of Earth warmer or cooler, instead dealing the heat gradient of Earth crust.
          So get hot 4″ radius sphere of solid steel out of furnace and put clay around it. The hot ball will dry and harden the clay around the steel ball and say it’s 1″ thick. So, what expect to have is the hot steel ball should have fairly uniform temperature, and some point it’s about 200 C and surface of clay on outside would be cooler than 200 C.
          Now go over some perhaps some unrelated facts, because made 4″ radius sphere into 5″ radius sphere, I have increase the surface area and not increase amount energy which would be emitted. Or if wrapped cold steel 1″ inch it’s same thing- increase surface area and not added heat.
          But main point is the clay doesn’t conduct heat as well as steel.
          Another note, is because using small scale, I am effectively dramatically increasing the heat conductivity all material {compared to full scale earth}.
          Oh, how about put the clay encased steel sphere back in the furnace, leave it there until steel heats up by 50 C, so 250 C, then take out again, and wait for it steel to cool back down to 200 C. So when take it out the clay much hotter than steel and cools down, and when steel ball is 200 C, the clay surface should be cooler then steel “core”.

          Now, if put some insulation on clay on part of surface, I expect that part clay surface which is insulated will become warmer compared to clay surfaces not insulated.
          And top that insulation will cooler than the clay surface.

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        5. Is a vacuum [of space] the best or worst insulator?

          If you think the Earth constantly emits ~240 W/m^2 to space (not just moon and satellites, i.e. matter) then you think a vacuum is the worst insulator.

          Also, are you treating 20C as a fixed given? Why?

          Many [stupid] people have suggested that cold determines the gradient. The insulated material will be held at a fixed given temperature on the outer side.

          I usually mock them by saying:
          Are you suggesting a frying pan on a hot stove will be room temperature on top and then a gradient will form from hot to cold?

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        6. –Is a vacuum [of space] the best or worst insulator?

          If you think the Earth constantly emits ~240 W/m^2 to space (not just moon and satellites, i.e. matter) then you think a vacuum is the worst insulator.–

          I believe Earth emits somewhere 240 watts per square meter and I generally don’t think of a vacuum as worst insulator- so seems like a bad guess on your part. But I am wildly guessing you have an opinion that Earth doesn’t emit 240 watts per square meter and a vacuum and isn’t the worse insulator.
          As general issue, it seems a lot people imagine the vacuum of space is cold, but for mammal human, it’s problem in vacuum [other lack of pressure} is the vacuum results it being better insulator than then it’s accustomed to.

          So, it’s possible to somewhat reasonable worry about the space environment offering barriers to larger human civilization in the space environment related to cost of getting rid of waste heat. Or some say if Earth population was over 100 billion, Earth have problem related to excessive amount of waste heat.
          And in terms of Earth, apparently some people aren’t aware that we living in an Ice Age.
          Some claim God gave us the Moon so we could be space faring species, likewise one could imagine that God gave an Ice Age, so we didn’t need to worry too much about the thermal management of Earth- were to have population over 100 billion.
          Anyhow other some kind of God decree, I am not exactly sure why we living in one the coldest time periods in the history of Earth.
          Now, maybe it could something do with lower amounts geothermal heat- particularly, in the last several million years.

          Anyways, perhaps we could all agree that Earth emits the most amount energy per square meter, than compared to any other planet in our solar system?

          And if we ever get to point of living in large sky of Venus, there will not be thermal energy management issue which limits it’s amount of population

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  3. -Heat doesn’t work like that!

    Perhaps over millenia we could melt steel?–

    It pretty hard the insulate the heat loss of such temperature- though 100 miles of some kind of rock might be able to do it. But Earth is this hot so in theory, yes. And probably well over millenia.
    But keep as short as possible also use more exotic material, like a aerogel {or even better stuff}. Wiki: “This aerogel has remarkable thermal insulative properties, having an extremely low thermal conductivity: from 0.03 W/(m·K)”
    So if had aerogel say 100 meters thick, that should help quite a bit. So maybe 1 km of best kind of rock {whatever that is} and 100 meter of aerogel on top that, that could take less than 1000 years.

    “How much energy from a cheap LED? Maybe if we accumulate joules from that we could also melt steel over time?”

    Well if do 1 km thick rock and 100 meter of aerogel with Geothermal it depends wide it is, as heat will travel horizontally around it, if steel you wanted to melt was in middle of 10 km radius, it would have heat gradient from that middle point outward.

    But can make LED melt and/or stop working if encase it with enough insulation? That seems quite likely.

    A coil of extension cord which powered 60 watt lamp and this coil of extension on floor covered lots newspaper, will start fire.
    It’s a bit runaway effect because hot electrical wires increase resistance if warmer and it’s just plastic insulation that has to melt and you get short. But that is what started a house fire,
    So don’t have coil of extension buried under a fair amount insulation [like stacks of newspaper] and have it power anything.
    Box lights with too much insulation will start fire:
    “The recessed lights in my house are accessible from the attic, but there’s no insulation around them because it says on the fixtures that they need to vent the heat generated by incandescent bulbs. If I replace those bulbs with LEDs, will that reduce the heat enough so I can insulate around the existing lighting cans?”
    Answer:
    “While LEDs run much cooler than incandescents, their electronic components and external heat sinks do get quite hot; you would still need to keep the insulation away from your fixtures…..”
    https://www.thisoldhouse.com/lighting/21195440/how-to-insulate-around-recessed-led-fixtures

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    1. I was talking about the light out of the LED, not the electricity that it directly receives.

      No, gbaikie, you can’t just add up joules over time. You need real time intensity to cause chemical changes.

      Delivering 36 kelvin for millenia to an object will cause that object to be 36 kelvin for millenia. There will never be some kind of accumulation that will cause the temperature to ever exceed 36 kelvin.

      This is not rocket science. If you wave a rope for a year such that it’s amplitude is 1 meter high the whole time, you can’t add up its amplitude over time. That amplitude is analogous to temperature.

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  4. Zoe, thought you’d appreciate this.

    .youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=J4_wvZw3pqE&feature=emb_logo

    Hope you can use it for something.

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  5. Don’t mind the comments though, people are getting scared and they should be. A global seismic event that could have been prepared for (to some degree) when everyone’s blowing money in the CC cash cow. I’d be upset too and scared.

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