Dig The Hole

If you could dredge out the Grand Canyon to a depth of 50km, atmospheric temperatures would be very hot – close to Venusian temperatures.

Would your hole change the height of the troposphere? Of course not. Would it change the composition of the atmosphere? Of course not. Would it change the lapse rate? Of course not.

Enough of the strawman arguments. Venus is hot because it has a thick, high pressure atmosphere. The heat has little or nothing to do with CO2. If Earth’s atmosphere were as thick as Venus, it would be incredibly hot here too.

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36 Responses to Dig The Hole

  1. mkelly says:

    The reason the top of Mt. Everest has low pressure is because it is cold up there.

  2. pwl says:

    I’m trying to wrap my head around this. It’s new to me.

    How is the atmospheric change in pressure that increases temperature from simply compressing a gas, say CO2, in a tank to say 700psi? The CO2 tank doesn’t get hotter does it? Not enough to notice anyhow.

    I’ve heard that if you put cotton in a cylindrical container and push in a plunger really fast the cotton will ignite and combust but if you push in the plunger slowly it won’t, the speed and force matter. How is this different than in an atmosphere?

    You’ve mentioned that if the sun wasn’t there there would be no warming effect at all. Is this what is happening in a tank of compressed CO2?

    Are these really the same situations with differences in the parameters to a physics math equation? Or are they really different situations with different math and physics going on?

    What am I missing? What is the difference? Maybe that is why people are confused?

    Thanks.

  3. DERise says:

    Wouldn’t be a lot hotter? After all ALGore sez it’s a million degrees two miles under the surface of the earth, and 50 km…. yep 50 km is greater than 2 miles. After all, ain’t we supposed to blindly follow anything the Gore sez?

  4. Baa Humbug says:

    No need to dig the ground. Just dig at the geology dot com website where one can see all the ‘below sea level’ locations on land. Without fail, these places exhibit Ts much warmer than surrounding ‘above sea level’ locations.
    And because these places experience potential annual evaporation rates much higher than precipitation rates, they lack water vapour for much of the year which causes much greater swings between temperature highs and lows. CO2 doesn’t enter into the equation.
    For instance, Death Valley, at 86mtrs below sea level, experienced it’s highest temperature of 56.7DegC in 1913. Higher levels of CO2 since has not been able to break that record. If one believes the GHG theory, one would think 98 years worth of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere might have nudged that record up a little at least.

  5. suyts says:

    Dang comment in moderation hell again!!! Forgot the double link rule. :-(

  6. Squidly says:

    Yes, yes, yes … by jove you got it! … finally, exhibitions of intelligence on this planet. Whew .. I am vindicated .. this is what I have been yelling about forever. As Steve has so aptly demonstrated, time and time again, places like Venus are not hot because of Co2 .. they are hot for the same reasons that Death Valley is hot. … period … now, that wasn’t so hard was it?

    sheeeshhh… :-)

  7. hyperzombie says:

    I have a hard time understanding this as well. Is the energy the same, but because it is compressed the thermometer says it is warmer, or is it something else?

    Also, I work for a large construction company so I priced out your 50 km deep hole (my dept specializes in large earth works, mostly for the government).

    According to our excavation software we could dig the hole for only $4.25 dollars per m3 735937524000000m3

    Total 3,127,734,477,000,000
    Blasting Extra
    Compaction Extra

    • Baa Humbug says:

      If you throw in the blasting and compaction for free you’ve got a deal.

    • suyts says:

      Compression is the energy.

      pressure = force/area.

      force = mass*acceleration

      Units of force = Newton.

      newton meter/second = watt

      Watt is expression of energy.

    • suyts says:

      Hyper, you should go to one of your excavation sites. Go to one where digging is occurring. A small backhoe would do. Before it starts work, feel the metal of the working blade or jaws. After a few minutes of work digging in the earth, feel the metal. It will be warm, if not hot. It is the pressure exerted that creates this warmth.

      • hyperzombie says:

        that is due to friction, what does that have to do with atmospheric temperatures? sometimes our hoe operators start small forest fires when they dig on rock with lots of forest duff around.

      • Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

        Isn’t the friction from pressure?

  8. Andy Weiss says:

    I always thought it got hotter as you dug deeper because you were getting closer to the molten rock below the surface. But apparently that is not the case, it’s due to compression. I hope I’m saying this right.

  9. hyperzombie says:

    I have a hard time understanding this as well. Is the energy the same, but because it is compressed and the thermometer says it is warmer, or is it something else?
    for instance if you took air from Venus” surface in a perfect insulated container and released the pressure on the surface of the earth, what would the temp be???

  10. omnologos says:

    I might be wrong, but I have a feeling that every fridge applies the “hotter when compressed, colder when expanded” principle.

    Of course a GH-effect commercial oven would make a good case for AGW. Any inventors out there?

  11. AndyW says:

    As well as the depth it depends on the opacity, you can have same depth/ thickness but different opacity and that means different temperatures. By just saying it is the depth ignores the chemical makeup of the atmosphere.

    If you just use depth on Mars, Venus or Earth as a guide you will end up with values that don’t match the observed at all.

    Steve doesn’t want CO2 to be a cause so just ignores it.

    Andy

    • Why would digging a hole change the opacity?

      • AndyW says:

        Let me phrase it another way, is the temperature on the surface only dependent on the depth of the atmosphere or is it also dependent on the chemical compostion of it?

        As opacity is determined by the chemical composition and opacity has an effect on the temperature. So you can’t just base it on depth.

        Your statement

        “If you could dredge out the Grand Canyon to a depth of 50km, atmospheric temperatures would be very hot – close to Venusian temperatures”

        Can you show your workings for this?

        Andy

  12. Sparks says:

    “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”
    ~Albert Einstein

  13. AndyW says:

    I did a quick estimate at 350C, even yours is a lot less than Venus.

    Andy

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