The first point worth mentioning is the fact that the figure of 7.54E13 kw.hr/yr used in the main body of the article is somewhat conservative when compared with other data that is available. For example see here which uses a figure of 1.87E15kw.hr/yr (careful with the unit conversions) so the reality is that the picture that I put in front of you with the main article is conservative. Regardless of ‘who is right’ the magnitude of the heat energy we are adding each year is significant relative to the body that we are adding it to – there WILL be a noticeable effect and this effect is detrimental to habitation on this earth.
See the reference here for an article about the earths radiant energy balance.
The article does a good job of generating a heat flow balance for the globe. Many very well qualified persons have worked to produce this information via the American Meteorological Society so I have no doubt that it is factual.
The article referenced above is a 2009 report which is an update from the 1997 article. (ref: https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0477(1997)078<0197:EAGMEB>2.0.CO;2)
Their diagrammatical representation is repeated below.
The point here is that one cannot be too simplistic about the temperature of the atmosphere or the earth – it is a very complex study as is illustrated by this study of only the radiation balance. So this helps to illustrate that taking energy from underground (where it lies dormant) and adding it to this balance year on year will undoubtedly have an effect on these energy movements and the temperatures involved. Temperatures are not shown in the diagram but are discussed at length in the full article.
What we can say with certainty is the following:
- We are taking currently inert material from underground, burning it (and in the case of nuclear, reacting it) and making Water, Carbon dioxide and Heat (heat only in the case of nuclear) that was not present before.
- We are doing this repeatedly
- All 3 are detrimental to the continued stable condition of the earth’s climate. Refer to the myriad articles on CO2 and global warming, see article here second paragraph for the importance of the addition of water vapour, and the addition of new heat is obvious.
- The magnitude of these added items is significant relative to the atmosphere into which we are adding them. Refer to the calculations in this article.
- In conclusion: we cannot keep on doing this.