Global Warming, a Primary Global Energy Resource

Published: 12 March 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/jrbctg6k7t.1
Ron Baiman, Jim Baird


Global warming is a thermodynamics problem. When excess heat is added to the climate system, the land warms more quickly than the oceans due to the land’s reduced heat capacity. The land absorbs more solar radiation than water, which reflects solar radiation back to the atmosphere. The oceans have the greater heat capacity because of its higher specific heat and heat mixes in the mixed layer of the ocean. Thermodynamic Geoengineering (TG) is a global cooling method deployed at scale would generate 1.6 times the world’s current supply of primary energy and would remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. The cooling would mimic the apparent 2008-2013 global warming hiatus. At scale 31,000 1-gigawatt (GW) ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) plants are estimated to be able to: a) displace about 0.8 watts per square meter (W/m2) of average global surface heat from the surface of the ocean to deep water that could be recycled in 226 year cycles, b) produce 31 terawatts (TW) (relative to 2019 global use of 19.2 TW[3]) and c) absorb about 4.3 Gt CO2 per year from the atmosphere by cooling surface waters. The estimated cost of these plants is roughly $3 trillion per year or 30 years to ramp up to 31,000 plants and replace as needed thereafter, compared for example to the cost of world oil consumption that in 2019 was $2.3 trillion for 11.6 TW. The cost of the energy generated is estimated to be $0.008, or less than one cent, a KWh.



Climate Change Mitigation