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2022年11月 2日 (水)

Powered society as a source of heat pollution/熱汚染の源泉としての動力社会

 It is hard to deny that humanity in the 21st century seems to be exposed to climate change in the form of global warming. There are data that are easier to understand, even if they are not at the macro level of the Earth.
 The following data is available. [Hover your pointer over the image and click to see a clear, highly detailed image in a new window].

Above source: Japan Meteorological Agency | Changes in heavy rainfall and heat wave days (extreme events) to date

 Above is the JMA's annual change over time (1910-2021) in the number of days per year with a daily maximum temperature of 35°C or higher (extremely hot days) in Japan. Two comments from the JMA, a caption for the graph, and notes are attached.

1.the annual number of extremely hot days in Japan has increased (1.9 days per 100 years from 1910 to 2021, statistically significant at the 99% confidence level). JMA]
2.The average number of days per year during the last 30 years (1992-2021) (about 2.5 days) has increased about 3.3 times compared to the average number of days per year during the first 30 years of the statistical period (1910-1939) (about 0.8 days). The bar chart (green) shows the number of days per year for each year.

The bar graph (green) shows the number of days per year for each year (average value per site for 13 sites nationwide). The bold line (blue) shows the five-year moving average, and the straight line (red) shows the long-term trend (the average trend of change over this period). JMA].
Notes and Supplementary Information
 The 13 sites nationwide are Abashiri, Nemuro, Sutto, Yamagata, Ishinomaki, Fushiki, Choshi, Sakai, Hamada, Hikone, Tadotsu, Nase, and Ishigakijima. The sites are selected from those where the influence of urbanization is relatively small and long-term observations have been made, without regional bias. JMA].

 However, even if the trend of global warming is unmistakable, it is not entirely clear whether it is due to very long-term geological changes of the entire planet or a consequence of human industrial activities in the last few centuries. If we look at the tens of thousands of years, a rise and fall of a few degrees Celsius in a few hundred years is not a geological event in the history of the earth. Therefore, if we look at the history of the earth in terms of tens of thousands of years, a rise and fall of several degrees Celsius in several hundred years is not impossible.

 Therefore, it is too early to conclude that human industrial activities are the root cause of global warming. However, if humans are producing more "heat" as a result of industrial activities than before, there is at least a possibility that we may be complicit, if not the main culprit. And clearly, human industrial activity continues to produce more "heat" than in the early pre-modern era. The main cause of this is the use of mechanical power.

 Animals, including us humans, consume food (other plants and animals), produce an intermediate substance (ATP) with the nutrients contained in it (mainly sugars), and oxidize this ATP in various parts of the body to extract energy for vital activities. In doing so, the power system of the organism is a wonderful "chemical engine" (Satoshi Watanabe), which is able to "power" the ingested food items (energy source) without converting them into heat, so there is very little wasted heat (waste heat) that is discarded to the outside world.

 This can be seen by taking a glance at the body temperature of animals. Humans have a normal temperature in the 36°C range. Domestic animals include cattle and pigs (38~39℃), horses (37.5~38.0℃), and pets such as cats (38~39℃) and dogs (37.5~39℃). The fastest animal on earth, the cheetah, which runs at 110 km/h, has a temperature of 38.3°C. The power performance of the horse is as follows.

・They can run at a speed of 20 to 30 km/h, and can only run for a maximum of 30 minutes at a time, and can run up to 30 In a day, the Uma can travel up to 30 kilometers.
・Galloping: 60-70 km/h, can run for up to 5 minutes at a time, and can travel up to 4-5 km in a day.

 In other words, global warming would not have been an issue when humans were powered by animal power. Even if we had obtained power from windmills or water turbines, there would be no extra waste heat generated because we were only using solar energy, the water and atmospheric circulation on the earth's surface.

 What about the waste heat from mechanical power, then, that made human industrial activity possible?

 Steam engines are as follows Source: Source What is a Steam Turbine? | Turbo Machinery Association


For gasoline engines, the maximum temperature for an explosion is 2,000 degrees Celsius.


 The use of mechanical power by these "heat engines" fundamentally supports the "high speed" and "mass production" of industrial society. The Ukraine crisis has made it clear that even if the "Singularity" of quantum computers arrives, the standard of living of people today will remain dependent on fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas, even in 2022.

 And from the second law of thermodynamics (the law of increasing entropy), we know that on earth, "motion tends to become heat, but heat tends not to become motion." Or, "Power is easily converted into heat, but heat is hardly converted into power. Therefore, heat loss, or "waste heat," is always generated. Therefore, it is also obvious that this is one of the root causes of heat pollution in modern civilization.

 However, there is no problem if steam and internal combustion engines are merely experimental level for scientists and engineers, or hobby level for enthusiasts. Or, if the estimated total world population in the first half of the 19th century was 1 billion, there would still be no need to worry about it.

 Today, however, in the 21st century, the estimated total population of the world is about to reach 8 billion. The total population of OECD citizens in 2022 is estimated at 8 billion, or 17% of the world's population. The number of gasoline-powered internal combustion engines (i.e., cars) on the road was 1 billion in 2010, and the remaining 83% of the population outside the OECD countries will hopefully enjoy the OECD standard of living. It is a natural human sentiment that the remaining 83% of people outside the OECD countries would like to enjoy the OECD standard of living if possible. It does not follow that the developed world has the right to deny them that right. There is a basis for this.

 If innovation in modern industrial society is to save mankind from global warming, it will not be by "bypassing production" such as "carbon neutrality" which makes entropy/waste heat generation worse, but by engineering the "chemical engine" which is the power system of living organisms and building the social infrastructure for it. I believe that the key is to create an engineering "chemical engine" that is a power system for living organisms and to build a social infrastructure for it.

See also.
1.Automobiles dump 60% of the power of gasoline into the atmosphere : 本に溺れたい
2.Watanabe, Satoshi, Seimei to Jiyu (Life and Liberty), 1980, Iwanami Shinsho、Chapter 4, Section 2, "Life as a Chemical Engine.

※The above article is an English translation by DeepL of 熱汚染の源泉としての動力社会/Powered society as a source of heat pollution: 本に溺れたい.


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