Research at AIIT

Dialog with an Uncertain Future / Excerp (Irregular updates)

The 42nd Installment“Is It Hot or Cold? Which Is It?”

by Yoshinori Kanno,
Professor, Master's Program of Innovation for Design and Engineering

”Is it hot or cold? Which is it?”

It was very hot last summer. Terribly hot! And it is very cold this winter!

From the viewpoint of thermal energy, it is rather strange. The Earth is a closed system where substances do not enter or exit. However, thermal energy is supplied from the sun. A heated object could fully build up thermal energy during the summer season. If the Earth releases thermal energy in winter, shouldn't the temperature change be more moderate? Global warming is now a hot topic of conversation. It is strange. I cannot understand this phenomenon in terms of energetics.

In terms of phenomenology, global warming should accelerate due to the increase in released CO2. But we actually experienced a severe winter. Now, I will think about the inverse problem.

Is it reasonable to attribute "cold" and "warm" to the same natural phenomenon? In short, is water the culprit? Is water vapor involved? A huge volume of water vapor generated due to global warming, which is a causative agent, is phase-transformed into snow in winter because of the significant decrease in solar energy. The very dense arctic cold air mass begins to rage and creates cold waves in the northern hemisphere. Those waves sweep over Japan, which causes "cold" weather. Wait a minute…has something been overlooked? In terms of molecular structure and molecular assembly, it is incomprehensible. The air mass builds by absorbing a large amount of energy. Then, when the air mass transforms into the solid phase, i.e. snow, where is the released thermal energy? Does God carry it somewhere? This matter seems to be overlooked.

In winter, water changes phase into ice or snow at the cost of itself in order to fill a gap in solar energy, which releases the energy to the outside world, which is no longer necessary in terms of molecular structure. That mechanism prevents the severe cold of winter from coming all at once, so that plants and animals can survive on the Earth. I would like to say "thanks" to water. But, am I the only person that worries about the current tendencies of the world to value only the human and social sciences while the knowledge of natural science is ignored?

The conclusion is that humans will never subdue nature. If we make light of nature, she will retaliate. The Earth is not in danger at all. In fact, arrogant humans are dangerous. Please don't forget that. "Too cold" and "too hot" are laws that have existed from the genesis of the Earth. The air circulates throughout the Earth. Humans exist at the mercy of the sun.

Back to index page