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Curios question on rock

  1. Jan 31, 2006 #1
    Hope these questions will rock you too to give me some answers!

    why does the earth's inside get cooler but its surface get hotter ?
    (hot because radiation/heat from the sun) and the polar caps are getting melt as reported due to green house effects etc, which doesn't seem logical to me...I am very new to earth science, plz bear with my ignorance.

    Living in a hot place is terrible but how could species on early earth live next to vocanoes ? This question I know is about adaptation, thick skins those big animals possess to survive generation to generation. And when the earth's cooler, their skins get thinner along with smaller bodies to be covered or the skin would be like a small vinyl bag holding something too big, right ?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 3, 2006 #2
    rocks are very good thermal insulators. so even though centre of the earth is very hot its effect on surface temperature is insignificant. surface temp of earth depends primarily on solar radiation and heat trapping property of CO2, water etc. so when greenhouse gases increase, earth's surface gets warmer.
    it is wrong to think of early earth as a hot place with lots of volcanoes. you see geologically speaking terrestrial animals (or even complex multicellular organisms of any form) evolved very late in earth's history. only marine unicellular organisms lived when earth was really young and active with lots of volcanoes- so no problem really.

    welcome to earth sciences. i'm sure you will love it
     
  4. Feb 5, 2006 #3

    Mk

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    Well, I don't think it is quite that simple, but the surface is hotter, because it gets more sun, and under the surface, it is colder, because it gets less. In fact in snowpack the heat transfer from solar insolation decays exponentially, as a cubic curve I believe.
    http://dust.ess.uci.edu/ppr/ppr_FlZ05.pdf
     
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