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The Earth's Battery Is Running Low

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posted on Aug, 12 2015 @ 01:36 PM
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John Schramski, a mechanical engineer and an ecologist has authored a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that says that modern civilization has drained the Earth, an ancient battery of stored chemical energy, to a dangerous low. This author claims that in 10,000 years, humans have drained the Earth's chemical battery down to nearly half of what it once was:



At the time of the Roman Empire, the Earth held 1,000 billion tonnes of carbon in living biomass, which equaled about 35 zettajoules of chemical energy.
Meanwhile chain welding, soil eroding and bulldozing humans have whittled the Earth's net primary production down to 550 billion tonnes of carbon in biomass and thereby depleted the battery to 19.2 zettajoules. That's a significant drop.


Here's a snippet from the article:



The battery metaphor speaks volumes and then some.

In the paper, Schramski and his colleagues at the University of Georgia and the University of New Mexico compared the energy state of the Earth to "the energy state of a house powered by a once-charged battery supplying all energy for lights, heating, cooling, cooking, power appliances and electronic communication."

It took hundreds of millions of years for photosynthetic plants to trickle charge that battery. Those plants converted low quality sunlight into high-quality chemical energy stored either in living biomass (forests and plankton) or more lastingly in the dead plants and animals that became oil, gas and coal.

But in just a few centuries humans and "the modern industrial-technological informational society" have spent that stored chemical energy and depleted the Earth-space battery.

Society partly drains the battery by converting forests and grasslands into agricultural fields. It diminishes the battery further by burning fossil fuels to plow fields and build cities. Human engineering of one kind or another has left a mark on 83 per cent of the planet.

In essence, humans depleted the battery to grow exponentially and spend more energy.


I think it's pretty obvious that we're destroying ourselves; or at least speeding up the said destruction. Some will argue that this is merely doom-porn, or that this is a natural process, etc..etc... The fact is, according to the article, that humans are using much more than what is being put back into the system; nothing gets put back because it gets burned and escapes into Space as radiation. The article lists Technology as the main culprit.

The way I see it, there's not much we can do to change things until the Fat Cats at the top implement the changes. However, they're making too much money with the system as it is. It seems at this point that they will just squeeze the system until the last drop. What says ATS?

www.resilience.org...




posted on Aug, 12 2015 @ 01:41 PM
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I've got an 80 amp charger with boost mode if they want to borrow it for a couple days.



posted on Aug, 12 2015 @ 01:45 PM
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I'm not sure the battery analogy works for me. I'm always astonished when mother nature with one of her thunder storms unleashes so much energy stored in the clouds, in the form of thunder, wind and lightening.



posted on Aug, 12 2015 @ 01:50 PM
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Not sure about this. Forests of trees cool the earth, pavement absorbs the heat.

Cutting down all the forests and paving it over with asphalt and concrete must be warming the earth, storing more heat and energy. When you consider the added effect of "greenhouse" layers of particulates that trap the suns heat further, I'd say that battery is getting too much "energy".

Unless our idea of energy is different.


Those plants converted low quality sunlight into high-quality chemical energy stored either in living biomass (forests and plankton) or more lastingly in the dead plants and animals that became oil, gas and coal.


Carbon Sequestration? Burning all the forests, oil and coal is pumping it right back into the atmosphere.



posted on Aug, 12 2015 @ 01:58 PM
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Dunno what the fuss is, less than a century and we can throw this planet away and keep the worst of us behind, or take the best to that Earth 2.0, or somewhere in between.

Keep your chill.



posted on Aug, 12 2015 @ 02:02 PM
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a reply to: intrptr

Yes, the atmosphere traps the Carbon heat but in the article the author says that Chemical energy leaves the Earth as Radiation into Space. Here's the quote from the article:

"As we burn organic chemical energy, we generate work to grow our population and economy. In the process the high-quality chemical energy is transformed into heat and lost from the planet by radiation into outer space," explains Schramski and his colleagues.



posted on Aug, 12 2015 @ 02:06 PM
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Howdy,

I'm quite sure that this article was not written by someone with a science background... Certainly that is making things more difficult to understand. Of course, the analogy of the battery is rather unnecessary and confusing, in my opinion.

I do believe we are discussing energy reservoirs, though, specifically in the form of combustible carbon compounds. I think the point of the matter is that humans are burning more carbon compounds for energy than can be restored by natural processes. That is to say, no, the Earth is not a draining battery, but the readily available energy resources are being drained.

But this is obvious for things like coal, oil, and gas, as these resources are most commonly called non-renewable resources.

I wish we had more journalists with scientific backgrounds.

Sincere regards,
Hydeman



posted on Aug, 12 2015 @ 02:08 PM
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a reply to: lostbook

Maybe it is me but how in the hell do we believe this crap? I don't care if this guy has 75 MD's from MIT, how can someone actually calculate the effing "battery" power of the Earth? This is hogwash if I have ever heard any! No offense OP...



posted on Aug, 12 2015 @ 02:14 PM
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a reply to: Chrisfishenstein

Howdy,

I do believe there are ways to estimate vegetation density from aerial imagery. I'm sure there are ways to do similar things for microorganisms in ocean columns. And as for reserves of coal, gas, and oil, well, I can assure you that geology has many ways of calculating untapped economic and subeconomic reservoirs. If you combine those totals for carbon biomass/carbon energies, then you find the rate of accumulation of those things (again through estimations and models), then you should be able to see whether the rate we as humans use those resources exceeds the accumulation, as well as model how much available resource remains/the rate of loss.

Just a guess though, I'm not an ecologist.

Sincere regards,
Hydeman



posted on Aug, 12 2015 @ 02:20 PM
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originally posted by: hydeman11
a reply to: Chrisfishenstein

Howdy,

I do believe there are ways to estimate vegetation density from aerial imagery. I'm sure there are ways to do similar things for microorganisms in ocean columns. And as for reserves of coal, gas, and oil, well, I can assure you that geology has many ways of calculating untapped economic and subeconomic reservoirs. If you combine those totals for carbon biomass/carbon energies, then you find the rate of accumulation of those things (again through estimations and models), then you should be able to see whether the rate we as humans use those resources exceeds the accumulation, as well as model how much available resource remains/the rate of loss.

Just a guess though, I'm not an ecologist.

Sincere regards,
Hydeman


So all this about "resources" equals battery power? Can you explain how we can figure untapped resources? You know we seismo still for gas and oil because we don't know if it is underground right? That makes no sense to do this through an "estimate"....I estimate all humans can float in space and stop the earth from rotating also....I mean just think about what was said, it makes NO sense....Unless I am just stupid...? Shut up inverted/Krazy...



posted on Aug, 12 2015 @ 02:31 PM
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According to, I think, Newton's laws energy cannot be destroyed only changed in its form. I call bull#...however we do damage the crap out of our planet...don't disagree there.



posted on Aug, 12 2015 @ 02:43 PM
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a reply to: Chrisfishenstein

Howdy,

From my understanding of the article's rather chopped up version of this scientific paper, yes,"total combustible carbon reserves" seems to be roughly equivalent to this "battery energy store." Again, I think the analogy of a battery is rather unnecessary and confusing. And then we add on the (web article) author's confusing talk of energy, and the matter is all the more confusing.

Now, I don't know the methods by which the scientists determined the total reserves of organic biomass, or whatever you want to call it, but I imagine it is based upon estimations and models as accurate as available data can make them.

And yes, seismic profiles in conjunction with other techniques are employed to locate potential reserves of natural resources. However, I didn't say that you could necessarily estimate unknown reservoirs (although I imagine there are ways to do so rather accurately... not all rock is suitable for the production of oil. Need a suitable host rock, high in carbonaceous material... Oils and gases usually from black shale from deep marine environments. Proper depths/heating to not exceed oil/gas window... Of course, you also need a viable caprock or trap for oil, unless you are fracking... So, if you calculated all the proper rock that could generate such reservoirs using crude geologic mapping/other available geological data, you could easily if not tediously develop a theoretical maximum amount of oil. Of course, the real economically extractable amount would likely be less than that total. Point is, there are indeed methods to estimate absolute totals given available information...)...

Wow, went off on a tangent there... Anyway, not all untapped reservoirs are unknown. Some are known, but not currently economic resources. Essentially, you would lose money producing them. Shale gas was subeconomic for the longest time, before modern fracking techniques and materials were developed.

In essence, estimations using the best available data can be used to create relatively accurate models. It would be like using equations for a sphere when calculating the mass of the earth given the average densities of the inner layers of the Earth over their respective volumes of total material... You would have a reliable model, but it would differ from reality slightly. To clarify, obviously density is not constant within any layers of the Earth and the Earth is not a sphere, but do you think that would change the results greatly?

Sincere regards,
Hydeman



posted on Aug, 12 2015 @ 02:44 PM
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a reply to: RickyD
You are refering to the law of conservation of energy (related to the first law of thermodynamics, not Newton's), which is relatively true, but that is not what the rather awful analogy of the battery refers to. The article is indeed discussing this thermodynamic process, actually, in that it is addressing the total amount of thermodynamically available energy produced by living photosynthetic organisms. So, no energy is truly being destroyed, it is changing from combustible carbon compounds (which stores energy in its chemical bonds) to CO2 and energy (from the breaking of the chemical bonds).

Now, the article does also address equilibrium (which is covered by the second law of thermodynamics). That energy that is "produced" (more like liberated) from the breaking of bonds is not kept entirely on the planet. Some of that energy radiates back off the planet in the form of electromagnetic radiation (think heat and light...). Of course, the cycle starts with the sun, which provides a good chunk of the original energy that plants adapt during photosynthesis, and thus that we use when we liberate energy from carbon compounds via combustion...

Sincere regards,
Hydeman

Edit: Sorry, double post. Internet is having spasms.

edit on 12-8-2015 by hydeman11 because: (no reason given)

Edit 2: Might as well use this productively.


edit on 12-8-2015 by hydeman11 because: Make the best of a double post?



posted on Aug, 12 2015 @ 02:49 PM
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a reply to: hydeman11

But do you understand for the last 100 years plus Halliburton has been fracking? You are basing your estimates off of not fracking which would in turn lead to completely inaccurate numbers because that is how natural gas (Marcellus/Utica/many more) are extracted...

I don't understand the logic behind we think......You can't say estimates show or we think there is, want to know why? Because we don't know...We have NO idea....Only what we know is what we can estimate....So let's say our estimates are 6 million times less than what is REALLY here....That would make the 10,000 year model proposed a little off, right? Even if not that much, it could be much higher in reality....

Basically I am saying that this guy couldn't talk me into this if I was on '___'....We have no idea and never will....The Earth reproduces much more than we even can begin to understand.....This is not a dumb rock with limited resources....That's just what they tell you.



posted on Aug, 12 2015 @ 02:53 PM
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a reply to: Chrisfishenstein

You're basically arguing from a state of ignorance, and using extremes to attempt to justify the stance. It only works on the ignorant. We have rough figures that are pretty close enough. It's only in your mind that these absolutes hold water. They make no sense -to you-, but they make perfect sense to people who don't have to think in absolutes, and are okay with degrees of likelihood and ranges of estimates.



posted on Aug, 12 2015 @ 02:55 PM
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originally posted by: pl3bscheese
a reply to: Chrisfishenstein

You're basically arguing from a state of ignorance, and using extremes to attempt to justify the stance. It only works on the ignorant. We have rough figures that are pretty close enough. It's only in your mind that these absolutes hold water. They make no sense -to you-, but they make perfect sense to people who don't have to think in absolutes, and are okay with degrees of likelihood and ranges of estimates.


Ignorant is not questioning this garbage.....You just freaking described yourself bro! Thanks

ETA: Oh, it's "close enough" for you.....That's reasonable.....I am going to carbon date something now
edit on 8/12/2015 by Chrisfishenstein because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 12 2015 @ 02:58 PM
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a reply to: Chrisfishenstein

What are you a teenager or something? I think your prefrontal cortex has yet to fully mylenate, cause that reasoning is very weak.

Run along now, kid.



posted on Aug, 12 2015 @ 03:15 PM
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a reply to: Chrisfishenstein

Howdy,

Yes, Haliburton has had fracking tech for quite some time, but as I said, it was not economic to use and produce until recently. Really, the fracking fluids are rather... less than healthy to be pumping into the ground. Good thing people like Cheney made it okay to keep those fluids proprietary secrets so we don't need to know about that. (I still support fracking and natural resource extraction.)

Now for my estimates, I did not make any, so I am not basing my estimates on anything. I was explaining to you how such a thing could be done (and I am sure there are many different ways to skin that cat). However, in my scenario I did account for non-standard reserves of gas and oil when I discussed the maximum absolute total based on host rock. Believe it or not, the Marcellus is what I think of first when I think of gas reservoirs. Oh, the woe of the modern geologist...

Now, I rather think it is disingenuous to say that because we don't know "everything" we don't know "anything." Simply put, the more data we have, the more accurate we can make the models. And I can assure you, we have plenty of data and statistical methods of determining confidence in the models we create. But I do not know the methods employed by the scientist[s] who did the work, and I am not paying to buy the article to find out. If you wish to know how they made their models, go to google scholar, type in the name of the article, and buy access. If you've never read a scientific paper before, there is usually a section titled "methods," which should tell you how they did what they did, or they might be citing a journal article of someone else who did the calculations. In such a case, go to the reference section and find that paper.

Now as someone who has studied rocks extensively for the last four years, I can assure you that resources do indeed have a limit. Heavier metals are relatively rare in the upper crust of the Earth, mostly due to density separation... Coal is relatively limited to a few major depositional periods of the Earth, I would argue most likely related to plate tectonics (arrangements of plates that creates large continents with large shallow seas/deltas/swampy areas for the deposition and rapid burial of plant matter). I've gone through the basics of oil... Now there are certainly cycles and pathways which can bring about new resources (magmatic eruptions of ferromag minerals from the deep mantle, for instance, or bolide impact which can artificially enrich the crust in dense metals), but I assure you these resources (like coal and oil) are not as renewable as you seem to imply.

Sincere regards,
I love rocks.

Now, if you have any relevant experience on these matters, I'd love to hear about it.



posted on Aug, 12 2015 @ 03:19 PM
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originally posted by: pl3bscheese
a reply to: Chrisfishenstein

What are you a teenager or something? I think your prefrontal cortex has yet to fully mylenate, cause that reasoning is very weak.

Run along now, kid.


Yes mommy....I am a kid....Funny how when people have nothing to say they attack.....You just sit there behind that computer screen acting tough....If you want to debate something, come back at your leisure...Crap on your own time I mean...



posted on Aug, 12 2015 @ 03:24 PM
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a reply to: hydeman11

See how you said "bring about new resources"? You know what that is? Renewable....I know people don't like calling it that but it is exactly the Earth doing that...But that is neither here nor there...You may enjoy this as well:

www.huffingtonpost.com...

But I enjoy reading what you are saying about this stuff, makes a lot of sense but I didn't say because we don't know it isn't right...I am saying because we don't know, it isn't accurate....That 10,000 year window can turn to 20,000 to 200,000 just in simple miscalculations due to resources (replenishing) for lack of the word renewing....We don't know enough about all this yet to boldly claim what this guy has done, that is all I am stating here....Thanks for the awesome conversation so far! Finally someone that speaks freaking normal....What a relief

ETA: be back on tomorrow...
edit on 8/12/2015 by Chrisfishenstein because: (no reason given)



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