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Matdoya

Would nuclear fusion solve global warming?

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geothermal can be depleted if you extract to much. this is commonly seen with groundsource heatpumps freezing the ground they operate in.

 

the amount of energy produced in the earths interior is only 44TW so this is the maximum steady state energy production it can yield. its not that much in the grand scheme of things. estimates of the exploitable energy from the earth are only down arouns 2TW maximum however.

 

as a species we use approximately 15TW of energy. this is growing rapidly. it is expected that by 2050 we will have exceeded 44TW and still be climing.

 

as an energy source, geothermal is limited and has potentially unknown consequences. what does happen if we cool down the volcanic hotspots. we don't and can't(at the moment) know what will happen if we remove volcanic activity from our environment. it could be nothing or it could lead to vast changes to our atmosphere.

 

so its best to keep this to a small scale anyway as it is nowhere near capable of supplying all our power.

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the amount of energy produced in the earths interior is only 44TW so this is the maximum steady state energy production it can yield. its not that much in the grand scheme of things. estimates of the exploitable energy from the earth are only down arouns 2TW maximum however.

 

I'm curious as to where you get "the amount of energy produced in the earths interior is only 44TW?" Everything I've read on the heat of Earth's core seems to be very much speculative.

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wikipedia, it references a paper that used measurements of neutrino fluxes from within the earth to determine the amount of radioactive decay taking place in the interior.

 

obviously there will be a fair amount of error, but all the values i have seen point to around 44TW. and far from all of that will be usable heat.

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But is Nuclear fusion sustainable??

 

Nuclear fusion uses hydrogen... from water. Over a long period of time, Earth will be dried up right? Abundant doesn't mean infinite amount.

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Over a long time the Earth will dry up no matter what we do. The Sun is getting hotter; life on Earth has about half a billion years left.

 

The amount of energy in hydrogen fusion is immense. If we unlock controlled fusion we will have the power to mine some truly immense sources of hydrogen (e.g. Jupiter). We may however turn the entire surface of the Earth into a radioactive wasteland in the process. Fusion is not without cost.

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I would vote for fusion. Wind turbines are known as bird-cuisinarts. They can destroy bat populations. Solar cell production involves wonderfully dangerous chemicals. It's all a balancing of the pros and cons. If solutions were simple we'd have have been done ages ago.

 

I was surprised at a tour of a nuke that a new reactor was planned. The paperwork was approved. The land had been set aside next to the other 2 reactors. So new nukes are going to reappear in the US sooner than later.

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Voting for fusion is a very nice thing to do. Voting will not solve the fundamental problem: It doesn't exist. We know how to do uncontrolled fusion, but not controlled fusion. It has been a pipe dream for at least 50 years. When I was young the timeframe was supposedly ten years. It hasn't happened yet, and I am far from a spring chicken now.

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Would nuclear fusion solve global warming?

 

 

Only if it was aneutronic and the unit was small enough to fit under my house or better yet in my car.

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We may however turn the entire surface of the Earth into a radioactive wasteland in the process. Fusion is not without cost.

 

How so...what's the potential mechanism for this to happen? Are you speculating some potential runaway reaction?

 

At first I thought you meant fusion byproducts..but then I thought their half-lives are very short apparently... so now you've got me wondering what you meant?

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I would vote for fusion. Wind turbines are known as bird-cuisinarts. They can destroy bat populations. Solar cell production involves wonderfully dangerous chemicals. It's all a balancing of the pros and cons. If solutions were simple we'd have have been done ages ago.

 

I was surprised at a tour of a nuke that a new reactor was planned. The paperwork was approved. The land had been set aside next to the other 2 reactors. So new nukes are going to reappear in the US sooner than later.

 

Wind turbines do not kill nearly as much wildlife as roadways, urbanization, or a host of other human activities and IMO is simply a scam by energy producers to see that generation remains highly centralized. Furthermore, it seems to me that the "fix" for it would be much simpler than trying to implement unproven technology.

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The "wind turbines kill lots of birds" thing is indeed a myth:

 

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/04/common_misconce.php

 

http://www.awea.org/faq/sagrillo/swbirds.html

 

For perspective, the average avian mortality rate per modern turbine is less than 2 per year. By contrast, 60-80 million birds are killed by being hit by cars every year, and anywhere between 100 million and 1 billion are killed by flying into windows.

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