The fart heard around the world

It is a truly amazing scale of hucksterism that the political leaders of 195 nations, many companies and a large portion of the earth’s population entertain the notion that farts warm our planet. I calculate a slightly different result from Mark Imisides: 1.06 X 10^4 years, i.e.10,000 years devoting the entire planet’s energy output would be required to heat the ocean a mere 1 degree C.  (The IEA estimates that, in 2013, total primary energy supply (TPES) was 5.67 × 10^20 joules of energy.) But, I agree with Mark on the overall impact.

It is fantasy to think that greenhouse gases of any and all types produce any significant warming of the planet.

“In short, our influence on our climate, even if we really tried, is miniscule!” says Mark Imisides, an industrial chemist in Australia. He calculates, “The ocean contains a colossal 1,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 litres of water! To heat it, even by a small amount, takes a staggering amount of energy. To heat it by a mere 1˚C, for example, an astonishing 6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 joules of energy are required. Let’s put this amount of energy in perspective. If we all turned off all our appliances and went and lived in caves, and then devoted every coal, nuclear, gas, hydro, wind and solar power plant to just heating the ocean, it would take a breathtaking 32,000 years to heat the ocean by just this 1˚C!”

Thanks to Mark Imisides for the useful example.

Mark Imisides, industrial chemist.…/…/chemistr…/chemistry-and-pollution

About budbromley

Life sciences executive, retired
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