Via Tom Nelson, no wonder they hate nuclear power so much, they don’t see any difference!
The amazing persistence of CO2 in the air has allowed billions of our small emissions, like those from the Enola Gay, to amass into an ever growing threat to civilization. How fast is that threat growing? In a must-see TED talk, NASA climate scientist James Hansen say the current increase in global warming is:
“…equivalent to exploding 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs per day 365 days per year. That’s how much extra energy Earth is gaining each day.”
That’s 278 atomic bombs worth of energy every minute – more than four per second — non-stop. To be clear, that is just the extra energy being gained each day on top of the energy heating our planet by 0.8 degree C. It is the rate at which we are increasing global warming.
Update: I think we need a new unit to quantify ridiculousness. I propose the Hansen Ridiculae Scale, somewhat like the Richter scale, logarithmic in nature.
Turning up the thermostat at a senate hearing in 1988 would rate a 5.0 Death Trains might rate a 6.0, this would rate an 8.0.
I’m afraid to imagine what a 9-10 on the Hansen Scale might look like.
ALSO: I’m busy at work right now, so I don’t have time to research it fully and calculate it, but if somebody wants to quantify the solar insolation received by Earth each day in “Hiroshima units”, I’ll add it to the main thread. That number will dwarf Hansen’s claim.
UPDATE2: Willis helps out:
Here’s your numbers, Anthony.
1 ton of TNT = 4.184e+9 joules (J) source
Hiroshima bomb = 15 kilotons of TNT = 6.28e+13 joules (ibid)
Hansen says increase in forcing is “400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs per day”, which comes to 2.51e+19 joules/day.
A watt is a joule per second, so that works out to a constant additional global forcing of 2.91e+14 watts.
Normally, we look at forcings in watts per square metre (W/m2). Total forcing (solar plus longwave) averaged around the globe 24/7 is about 500 watts per square metre.
To convert Hansen’s figures to a per-square-metre value, the global surface area is 5.11e+14 square metres … which means that Hansens dreaded 400,000 Hiroshima bombs per day works out to 0.6 watts per square metre … in other words, Hansen wants us to be very afraid because of a claimed imbalance of six tenths of a watt per square metre in a system where the downwelling radiation is half a kilowatt per square metre … we cannot even measure the radiation to that kind of accuracy.
As do others:
Napkin calculation, no calculator needed: Hiroshima was ca. 63 TJ = 6E13J. The earths circular area is 3 * (6E6m)^2 = 1E14m2. The suns TSI is ca 1kW = 1E3 J/s, so the earth gets ca 1E17 J/s on the sunlit side, so the sun explodes about 1E17/6E13 = 1E3 Hiroshima atomic bombs on this planet. EVERY SECOND.
Mr. Hansen: the sun explodes about a thousand Hiroshima bombs on this planet. EVERY SECOND. DO something about it!