Wednesday, February 3, 2016
The efficiency of the Earth as a heat radiator - Part 3
So, we can imagine the Early Earth, more than 4 billion years ago. Actually, these are all stupid pictures because we had a giant gas cloud like Venus, filled with all sorts of crap, mostly methane. Everything was a roiling boil, which was a good thing for 5 Billion Year Old Man, since in outer space he could warm his hands evenly all around the planet. No hot and cool spots, no stupid greenhouse gases. That's the wonderful thing about convection, it overwhelms everything, and is not a greenhouse.
It's sad, but this perfect handwarmer was radiating out so much heat that it started to cool down. The Sun was a dim bulb then anyway, I don't even think they had lit it yet. :) 100% of the heat was geothermal, mostly the residual of planetoid collisions, but I think our nuclear furnace started soon after. All this cooling led to a nasty scum forming on the earth, the continents that we live on. Later it got cool enough for oceans, but you could still fry an egg on your head.
Like a steel blast furnace, the slag was formed of silicates, pure iron went down to make our compasses work, and heavier stuff went to the core, whatever that is. If you are 'pro-life' you'd be happy about all this, although life did horrible things at first. 'Life-Made Climate Change'. Those early bacteria should have made a lifestyle change and all become hippies.
But for the Old Man, the slag was terrible. It made hot and cold spots for hand warming. Thick pieces insulated the heat, causing more to be radiated out in thin spots. The thin spots were oceans, so the water was boiling for a while, not nice to critters. But eventually, thanks to efficient heat radiation, life became possible, and photosynthesis contaminated everything with oxygen - The Great Poisoning.
-to be continued.