World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., 2008. — 185 p.The biosphere is the world in which we live. Compared to the size of the earth, the biosphere is a thin layer surrounding the earth’s surface, extending a few kilometers above and below it. This is where all living organisms and their residues are to be found. This is where mankind has developed, in intimate relation with its surroundings, what we often call the environment. We know that our life has always been dependent on it, and always will. Hence our deep concern when changes, maybe harmful to us, occur in the biosphere, possibly due to the activity of mankind. Do these fears have a scientific basis, or are they grossly exaggerated? For instance, is climate change a real threat? And what is more harmful to the biosphere, to burn more fossil fuels, or to build and operate more nuclear reactors? Today these issues are in the public domain and, in the end, it will be the people who will decide what should or should not be done. This is why I believe it is important for everybody to understand the nature of the issues at hand. It turns out that an intelligent discussion requires some familiarity with a concept called entropy. While everybody is familiar with the concept of energy, only a few, mostly scientists, know about entropy. In order to understand that there is a deep connection between the energy crisis, by which we mean that we may soon run out of fossil fuels, and damage to the environment, it is necessary to understand the concept of entropy. According to the laws of thermodynamics, this damage is one aspect of an increase in entropy (or disorder at the molecular scale) in the biosphere, which cannot be avoided when we burn fuel. This increase in entropy is more subtle than the loss of fuel supply, but instinctively it is the one that we fear more. As we shall see, the danger lies not so much in the fact that we are burning fuel, but rather in the rate at which we do this. If we run out of fossil fuels it is evidently because we have been burning them so fast, and so inefficiently, and this is precisely the reason why the effects of the increase in entropy are now there for everybody to see.Introduction Dealing with Entropy on a Daily Basis Entropy in the household An example of an entropy crisis at home Where does all the disorder go? Disorder and pollution Entropy and the second law of thermodynamics From the household to the biosphere A Short History of the Biosphere The billion year time scale The biosphere on the 100 million year time scale Carbon storage: carbonates and fossil fuels Ice ages The last 10 million years How Much Energy do We Need? Different forms of energy and power Energy conversion Energy use and entropy release Energy needs and costs Can society survive with a lower entropy release? Entropy in Thermodynamics and Our Energy Needs Entropy in thermodynamics Entropy at the molecular level Energy needs and man generated entropy Climate Change: What We Know and What We Don’t Time scale and temperature scale The CO2 cycles Anthropogenic temperature changes Climate changes in space and time: back to entropy The entropic meaning of sustainable development Concluding remarks Fighting Entropy with Technology Motivation for fighting entropy increase: ensuring climate stability By how much do we need to reduce anthropogenic entropy release Entropy management strategies Energy generation impact on global entropy release Towards a World without Fossil Fuels Increasing entropy and increasing energy needs The retreat of oil How much oil is left anyhow? Replacing oil and gas by coal for residential heating? Can we replace oil for transportation? Can coal be displaced as the major primary fuel? Displacing coal with renewables A Changing World A realistic objective The supply side Reducing the power consumed in developed countries The dangers Index
Чтобы скачать этот файл зарегистрируйтесь и/или войдите на сайт используя форму сверху.