Home Discussion Forum What happens to the heat energy we produce on earth?

What happens to the heat energy we produce on earth?

Much of the energy we release from the earth, sun, etc ends up as heat. What then happens to this heat – does it leave our atmosphere, does it keep warming the earth up, does it convert into some other form of energy?
Similarly, what happens to the other forms of energy – light, kinetic, etc?


  1. Some radiates out into space. Heaven forbid that it should also result in some global warming for those that deny this possibility.

  2. Are you referring to the heat radiated by Earth & Green House Effect. One form of Energy can be converted to another, it can then be used for work; what happens depends on how it is used & where it is used. For Example, In Hydro-Electric Projects, Potential Energy of Height is gets converted into Kinetic Energy, which in turn is converted to Electrical Energy.

  3. yep mostly radiates away.
    heating factors of earth and radiation it emits make an equilibrium…
    the more heat it recieves from whatever, the more it radiates, but also equilibrium shifts to make the world that little bit warmer
    it’s all rather complex

  4. Earth is not a closed thermodynamic system. It is continually receiving electromagnetic energy from the sun (lots of it), and it is continually radiating electromagnetic energy into space. Solar energy received over millions of years is stored as the chemical energy in fossil fuels. Thermodynamics is the tool you would use to analyze all of these energy flows.
    The fuss about the greenhouse effect centers on the fact that more atmospheric carbon dioxide makes the atmosphere reflect more of that energy radiated from earth back to earth, rather than continuing out into space. To the extent that it is true, it has a net warming effect on earth.
    Kinetic energy on earth stays on earth until it is converted into electromagnetic energy and is radiated away.


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