Is the temperature of the center of the Earth cooling? It
would seem that the temperature of the core at several thousand degrees
would lose heat to space over time. Even considering the mass of the
Earth, the long time that the Earth has had to cool would have been
sufficient to reduce the temperature. Just being under tremendous
gravitation pressure would not, in itself, generate heat if the pressure
were static? Your input would be appreciated.
The earth would have cooled to an icy cinder many years ago were it not for
the decay of radioactive nuclei (principally uranium 238, thorium 232, and
potassium 40). Of course, the amounts of these heat-generating nuclei have
decayed over time, so their consequent heat output has also fallen. Unless
there is some other source of energy in the earth's core that is not
accounted for, the temperature MUST be lower than in the past.
Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois
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Update: June 2012