Variability of the Earth’s climate
The geothermal gradient delivers about 61.5 mW/m2 from the interior of the Earth to the surface. Since the surface area of the Earth is 5.1×108 km2, the rate at which energy is released from the interior of the Earth is 3.1×1010 kW. The solar power that impinges on the Earth is 342 W/m2. If all of this were absorbed, the Earth would receive 1.7×1014 kW. Actually, only about 70% of incident solar energy is absorbed by the Earth; nevertheless the solar input far exceeds that which derives from the interior. Therefore geothermal energy may be ignored when dealing with the heat balance of the Earth.
KeywordsSouthern Ocean Polar Area Continental Drift Global Average Temperature Global Glaciation
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