It seems to me that a goodly portion of the energy would be lost into
space. The path of least resistance is upward away from the planet. The
density of the planet will certainly bounce much of the energy away. I'm
not saying that alot of energy will not be absorbed by the planet, oceans
and atmosphere, but a part of the energy must be accounted for as escapting
I was just reading in Strahler and Strahler, "Modern Physical Geography,"
the section dealing with the earth's radiation ballance (chapter 4). I
found it interesting that 32% of solar radiation is reflected directly back
into space (pg. 60). And that 68% of the earth's long wave radiation
(heat) is radiated out into space. 8% is direct loss from the earth's
surface into space. 60% is radiated from the atmosphere into space.
They point out that the system is an open system. Any increase in the
input will cause a corresponding amout in output. There would be a lag
time between an increase in the input and the increase in output because of
the natural storage of heat in the system -- in the atmosphere, the latent
heat of water in the atmosphere, and in the ground.
When dealing with a catastophe balance of heat on earth one must not
neglect to take into account the corresponding increase in heat radiation
into space both directly from the surface (like volcanism) and from the
atmosphere. It makes sense that an increase in the heat of the atmosphere
will increase the amount of heat radiated from the atmosphere into space.
Most objections that I have read about catastrophic events are based solely
on the increase of heat into the system with nothing being calculated about
the corresponding increase in radiation of heat into space.
You hear of how Noah and Family would be broiled alive in extreme
temperatures. But where is the calculations of corresponding heat loss