Anthropogenic heat release into the environment

Kaufui V. Wong, Yading Dai, Brian Paul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This work is intended to systematically study an inventory of the anthropogenic heat produced. This research strives to present a better estimate of the energy generated by humans and human activities, and compare this estimate to the significant energy quantity with respect to climate change. Because the top of atmosphere (TOA) net energy flux was found to be 0.85±0.15 W/m 2 the planet is out of energy balance, as studied by the group from NASA in 2005. The Earth is estimated to gain 431 terawatts (TW) from this energy imbalance. This number is the significant heat quantity to consider when studying global climate change, and not the 78,300 TW, the absorbed part of the primary solar radiation reaching the Earth's surface, as commonly cited and used at present in the literature. Based on energy supplied to the boilers (in the Rankine cycle) of at least 13 TW, body energy dissipated by 7×10 9 people and their domestic animals, the value of the total world anthropogenic heat production rate is 15.26 TW or 3.5 of the energy gain by the Earth. Based on world energy consumption and the energy dissipated by 7×10 9 people and their domestic animals, the value of the total world anthropogenic heat production rate is 19.7 TW or about 5 of the energy gain by the Earth. These numbers are significantly different from 13 TW. More importantly, the figures are 3.5-5 of the net energy gained by the Earth, and hence significant. The quantity is not 0.017 of the absorbed part of the main solar radiation reaching the Earth's surface and negligible.

Original languageEnglish
Article number041602
JournalJournal of Energy Resources Technology, Transactions of the ASME
Volume134
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 16 2012

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Earth (planet)
energy
Solar radiation
Climate change
Animals
heat production
Rankine cycle
solar radiation
Planets
Energy balance
Boilers
NASA
Hot Temperature
top of atmosphere
climate change
Energy utilization
animal
Fluxes
energy flux
energy balance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Fuel Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

Cite this

Anthropogenic heat release into the environment. / Wong, Kaufui V.; Dai, Yading; Paul, Brian.

In: Journal of Energy Resources Technology, Transactions of the ASME, Vol. 134, No. 4, 041602, 16.10.2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wong, Kaufui V. ; Dai, Yading ; Paul, Brian. / Anthropogenic heat release into the environment. In: Journal of Energy Resources Technology, Transactions of the ASME. 2012 ; Vol. 134, No. 4.
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