Saturday, December 3, 2011
Heat Death of the Universe and Global Warming
The second law of thermodynamics states the entropy of an isolated system increases always with time towards its maximum. William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), one of the most brilliant minds in the field of thermodynamics in the 19th century, applied the law to the case of the universe and formulised a hypothesis that says: when the maximum entropy is reached the universe will have no thermodynamic free energy any more to sustain motion or life – ultimate fate of the universe is heat death. The theory has been further developed since, and cosmological research suggests eventually all matters will decay into iron, and collapse into black holes in some remote future of 10’s 3 digits power (>10^100) years from now. Presumably this is the scariest projection our human minds are capable to image.
A century after Lord Kelvin, another scary projection is formulised by climate scientists. Instrumental observations have found that atmospheric carbon dioxide absorbs significant amount of earth outgoing radiation. It is then believed that atmospheric carbon dioxide traps heat and warms up the atmosphere. With the concentration of CO2 increasing more and more, the Earth will get warmer and warmer, ice melts, sea level rises, leading to catastrophic climate change that will destroy the living environment of the mother Earth. "Earth 2100," as an ABC television program forecasts, is the "Final Century of Civilization."
Unlike the theory of heat death of the universe that is only studied by academics, the theory of global warming has alarmed and mobilised our mankind. We’ve spent trillions of dollars trying to combat global warming. From the Kyoto Protocol to the Copenhagen Climate Summit COP15 to the current
conference COP17, world leaders have shown how they are convinced that carbon dioxide is causing global warming. Australian parliament even passed recently a carbon tax law upon its citizens. Durban
While the theory of heat death of the universe remains a valid scientific hypothesis, the theory of global warming, fortunately and unfortunately, has been found to be a false illusion due to technical errors. Physical analysis of carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen molecules shows carbon dioxide is cooler than, gains heat by molecular collision from, and dissipates heat by radiation for nitrogen and oxygen gases.
CO2 is a cooling agent for the atmosphere; nitrogen and oxygen gases secure the Earth a warm liveable near surface atmosphere. In the thermosphere where CO2 is sorted out due to heavier molecular weight, the temperature of residual air is well above 100°C, goes higher and higher with altitude reaching a value exceed 1000°C.