Common sense science on global warming – Gasconade County Republican

To the Editor:

I have lived on the earth for four score and seven years. In my youth I have seen summer temperatures up to 114 in St. Louis, I have seen winter days well below 0 for days at a time. 

Weather records only date back a few hundred years so new 200 year record temperatures will occur with some frequency. They do not reflect the record temperatures not recorded over the past thousand years.

The laws of thermodynamics tell us that heat (high energy) moves toward cold (low energy) space through conduction, convection, radiation, etc. The sun is the best example of radiant energy, we all know that from being outside in the summertime the earth is cooler than the sun so it is locally heated by daytime radiation.

If you put a piece of ice at 30 degrees in a closed insulated container with a piece of ice at 0 degrees, after a period of time both pieces will be at 15 degrees. Heat energy has traveled from one piece to the other by convection or radiation. 

In a like manner the ice fields at each pole radiate energy into space. At some point the radiant energy being released is balanced by the heat being conducted from the earth’s core and some stability is achieved. Of course the atmosphere is also is a factor and complicates things. At the poles solar radiation is near zero and not a factor.

Outer space is extremely cold. Ever since it’s creation the earth has been radiating energy out into space (cooling) starting when it was just a ball of molten magma. It was also receiving heat energy from the sun every day.

For eons the cooling by radiation exceeded the heat energy being received from the sun. As the earth cooled and a crust formed the mantle insulated the extremely hot core, heat transferred from the core by conduction was reduced and earth’s surface temperature dropped to the point where we had ice ages.

As time passed the sun was more of a factor at the equator and incoming solar radiation (heating) exceeded earth’s radiation (cooling). The side of the earth facing the sun warmed up and life was made possible through a process we do not understand.

In order for life to continue a very delicate balance had to be achieved to maintain temperatures needed. During the day the earth receives excess heat but in order to maintain the balance and keep the earth from overheating the excess energy must be radiated to space as day turns into night. Just as if you leave the teapot on the burner it will overheat and dry out. 

This is a simplified but logical explanation and doesn’t include the tremendous effect that the atmosphere has on the process which is beyond my understanding and certainly complicates things.

We live in a very minute part of the universe, totally dependent on a very insignificant star in a very insignificant galaxy in an infinite universe consisting of multi-millions of far larger stars. Some of us believe that GOD planned it that way for our benefit and won’t let man mess it up.

August Hoernschemeyer



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