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Thread: Earth's natural temperature

  1. #1
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    Earth's natural temperature

    If the sun disappeared, what temperature would the Earth cool to until it was warmed by geothermal heat only?

  2. #2
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    Just a question, but the temperature where? Are you asking about the temperature of the air at sea level? I assume that's what you mean, because the temperature at the core will be much higher and the temperature at the summit of Mt. Everest will be quite lower.
    As above, so below

  3. #3
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    Yes, I know the core would be hot...I mean at the surface. And does altitude make a difference if the sun is gone?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mazanec View Post
    Yes, I know the core would be hot...I mean at the surface. And does altitude make a difference if the sun is gone?
    I would think yes (sort of).

    I don't know (nor am I going to do the calculations), but I suspect that most of the atmosphere would freeze out (well, not the neon and helium, but all the water, oxygen, nitrogen, etc.). So the we'd have essentially a vacuum and there would be essentially no heat transfer from the ground (minor radiative heat transfer and minor convective transfer, depending on what atmosphere is left). So, as soon as you get "above" the ground, you'd be pretty cold, and that wouldn't change much. What is change in temperature with elevation of Pluto's atmosphere? I don't know, but I suspect it would be pretty similar.

    The ground would remain warmer, because of the remaining temperature in the core, and would get warmer as you went down. At some depth it probably wouldn't be much different than it is now.
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