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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Outlandish II_The future is now-Tommorow is today-Can a Nuclear Bomb Explosion, alter the Earths Axis of Rotation:Impact,Wobble,Flip,Precession...

In some ways this post, & the previous one, stems from such “unsubstantiated, opinionated pseudo news article and to sceptical friend’s word of mouth related opinion on IPCC conclusions on GW, ” which I stumbled upon in my search to clarify a missing link in my “scientific and technical knowledge of the “Global Warming. It is almost to give too much credit to the story but I have included this particular [Link

I have only just managed to avoid the risk of being side-tracked into to discussing CC –Climate Change, again! This has not been supressed, only relegated to the ANNEXE I.

To the point: Can nuclear explosion(s) modify the Earths Axis of Rotation?:
Impact, Wobble, Flip, Precession, Tidal Braking, Chaos Theory are all addressed and conclusions reassuring.

The Bottom Line on Planet Rotation Change according to
Prof. Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, Wisconsin Univ.

· Solely internal processes can change the rotation of a planet by changing its moment of inertia.
· These processes do produce measurable variations in the Earth's rotation.
· These processes are far too feeble to affect the Earth's rotation significantly.
Steven’s page ref: Created 12 January 2005, Last Update xxxx

Morals and :
· Scientists are perfectly willing to believe in changes in orbit, axial tilt, planetary collisions, and so on, provided there is evidence for them.
· And there is
· The Solar System is chaotic (not exactly predictable on a very long time scale) but not wildly unstable. There's not a shred of evidence for gross changes in historic times.
· Created 8 July 1998, Last Update xxxx
All of Prof S. Dutch’s pages are highly readable, calculations simple and clear to follow (High School – 1st year Univ level) and his general advice to students and academic writers sound. (Non-academics can also usefully benefit from Steves pages and humour) Highly commendable. cf ANNEX II.

Nuclear Weapon Effects
Ref. [LINK]
"A nuclear detonation creates a severe environment including blast, thermal pulse, neutrons, x- and gamma-rays, radiation, electromagnetic pulse (EMP), and ionization of the upper atmosphere. Depending upon the environment in which the nuclear de-vice is detonated, blast effects are manifested as ground shock, water shock, “blueout,” cratering, and large amounts of dust and radioactive fallout. All pose problems for the survival of friendly systems and can lead to the destruction or neutralization of hostile assets.
The energy of a nuclear explosion is transferred to the surrounding medium in three distinct forms: blast; thermal radiation; and nuclear radiation. The distribution of energy among these three forms will depend on the yield of the weapon, the location of the burst, and the characteristics of the environment. For a low altitude atmospheric detonation of a moderate sized weapon in the kiloton range, the energy is distributed roughly as follows:
50% as blast;
35% as thermal radiation; made up of a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum, including infrared, visible, and ultraviolet light and some soft x-ray emitted at the time of the explosion; and
15% as nuclear radiation; including 5% as initial ionizing radiation consisting chiefly of neutrons and gamma rays emitted within the first minute after detonation, and 10% as residual nuclear radiation. Residual nuclear radiation is the hazard in fallout.
Considerable variation from this distribution will occur with changes in yield or location of the detonation.
Because of the tremendous amounts of energy liberated per unit mass in a nuclear detonation, temperatures of several tens of million degrees centigrade develop in the immediate area of the detonation. This is in marked contrast to the few thousand degrees of a conventional explosion. At these very high temperatures the nonfissioned parts of the nuclear weapon are vaporized. The atoms do not release the energy as kinetic energy but release it in the form of large amounts of electromagnetic radiation. In an atmospheric detonation, this electromagnetic radiation, consisting chiefly of soft x-ray, is absorbed within a few meters of the point of detonation by the surrounding atmosphere, heating it to extremely high temperatures and forming a brilliantly hot sphere of air and gaseous weapon residues, the so-called fireball. Immediately upon formation, the fireball begins to grow rapidly and rise like a hot air balloon. Within a millisecond after detonation, the diameter of the fireball from a 1 megaton (Mt) air burst is 150 m. This increases to a maximum of 2200 m within 10 seconds, at which time the fireball is also rising at the rate of 100 m/sec. The initial rapid expansion of the fireball severely compresses the surrounding atmosphere, producing a powerful blast wave."

“Disclaimer - Specialists in Nuclear weapons, which I am not, have probably studied some such influences. I have not delved into available open or web based literature.”

From what precedes one make some “Dr. No” hypothesises:

One can pretty safely say that the kinetic (action-reaction) forces are insufficient to alter the Earth’s Axes of Rotation,:

cf. Dutch "Planets are Pretty Big "-
"One way to move an object is to throw mass in the opposite direction, the way jets or rockets do. The mass and the object move in opposite directions, but the center of mass of the whole system at each instant tends to stay fixed. If our astronaut had a wrench he could throw it and move himself. He might also vent off some excess oxygen to propel himself. But expelling enough mass to affect the gigantic bulk of the Earth is a stupendous task. No nuclear blast from any bomb now in existence would blast material free of the earth at all. The largest spacecraft have far less effect on the Earth than a flea jumping off an elephant.
If we think really big and imagine blasting a chunk out of the Earth as big as North America and 100 miles thick so that its final speed, after escape, with respect to the Earth is 25,000 miles an hour, we will have expelled only 1/500 of the total mass of the Earth. The Earth would move in the opposite direction 1/500 as fast or 50 miles an hour. The speed of the Earth in its orbit is about 67,000 miles an hour. We will not change the orbit of the Earth very much--if we apply the impulse to speed up the earth in its orbit we would put the Earth into a new orbit with its most distant point about 70,000 miles further from the Sun than now--and the Earth's distance from the Sun varies now by three million miles over the course of a year! Exactly the same arguments apply to changing the orbit of the Earth through the impact of a large asteroid. The largest asteroid, Ceres, about 600 miles in diameter, is only about as massive as our hypothetical chunk of Earth above. Changing the orbit of a planet is a tall order. An impact big enough to have even a tiny effect on the Earth's orbit or rotation would almost certainly destroy all life on Earth as well."

or that enough nuclear blast power cannot be brought into play, fortunately let me say.

Some people think of the Earth's axis "flipping over," like a top falling on its side or perhaps like one of the novelty tops that spontaneously flips over. But tops change their motion because they are balanced on a firm surface and because gravity is pulling them downward. Under zero gravity conditions, like in a spacecraft, both types of tops would spin until they slowed due to air resistance. In space, with no air, they would spin forever, and not flip or fall over. The Earth is spinning like a top, but like one spinning in space.
The amount of energy contained in the earth's rotation is pretty large: 2.1 x 1029 joules. You'd have to supply an appreciable fraction of that to change the earth's rotation in any major way. To put this number in perspective, a megaton is 4 x 1015 joules. You'd have to supply about 5 x 1014 megatons, or about 100 million times the total nuclear arsenal of the Earth. So we can see that the science fiction theme of a nuclear blast affecting the earth's rotation is just plain impossible. The kinetic energy of the earth in its orbit is about 2.7 x 1033 joules or about 10,000 times its rotational energy, so the entire earth's nuclear arsenal could hardly affect the earth in its orbit even if we could somehow deliver the energy effectively.
Another way to look at this is that it takes 400,000 joules to melt a kilogram of rock, so to change the earth's rotation, you'd liberate enough energy to melt 5 x 1023 kilograms of rock or almost 10 per cent of the earth. "

One other possibility could be to use blast & heat (85% of nuclear effects) to modify the magma flow!

This would require bomb casing materials which could withstand magma temperatures (?) and even more so have significant influence on the huge heat capacity-inertia- of the earth's magma stock ((magnitude? TBD-Google up on this). Finally precise knowledge of magma flow patterns would be required! Today we still struggle with atmospheric & ocean flow patterns. So again fortunately this too is out! Jules Verne's «Journey to the centre of the Earth » is literally a "Hell" of a way off!

ANNEXE I References from S Dutch

Official Geenbay
References for College Papers
General Principles for References, especially good reading for the green movement to gain credibility, if such is required

Lighter stuff from S. Dutch

ANNEXE II - Climate Change
Risking being side-tracked to discussing CC –Climate Change, again!

From an excellent, clear historical academic source

(Colby College-map)

, on climate change theories, I have extracted the following quote:

“A Plethora of Speculative Theories
By 1900, most of the chief theories of climate change had been proposed, if not yet fully explored: changes in solar output; changes in the Earth's orbital geometry; changes in terrestrial geography, including the form and height of continents and the circulation of the oceans; and changes in atmospheric transparency and composition, in part due to human activities.1 Of course, there were many others. New climate theories were being proposed and new work was being done on heat budgets, spectroscopy, and the rising CO2 content of the atmosphere."

Table 9-1. Climate change theories as classified by Brooks (1950). Theories and References:
Changes in elements of the Earth's orbit:
Adhémar (1842), Croll (1864, 1875), Drayson (1873), Ekholm (1901),
Spitaler (1907), Milankovic (1920, 1930, 1941)

Full list of Theories, including changes in atmospheric composition:
Arrhenius (1896), Chamberlin (1897, 1899), Ekholm (1901),
Callendar (1938, 1939)

“Global warming and the carbon dioxide theory of climate change are not new
issues. In the 1940s and 1950s, doubts about the efficacy of CO2 as an agent of
climatic change gave way to new theories and observations. Rising
temperatures, expanding carbon emissions, new measurements of the radiative
properties of trace gases, and new models of the Earth's heat budget and carbon
cycle convinced a number of scientists that the carbon dioxide theory needed to
be taken seriously. By the late 1940s and early 1950s, as Northern Hemisphere
temperatures continued to rise, global warming was on the public agenda.
However, scientific work done in the mid-1950s did not seem to make
much of an impression on the general public, whose awareness of climate issues
seemed to rise and fall with the temperature trends. With the exception perhaps
of Revelle's policy initiatives and Keeling's curve of CO2 concentration, which
continues its snakelike rise, early twentieth century concerns about global
warming are not continuous with later climate research.”

CC-For scientists & similar, fairly technical debate very much alive, references from both sides.
The Earth Institute,Columbia Univ.,USA.[LINK -lectures 1-8]

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