Humans typically radiate around 100W of heat, equivalent to an incandescent light bulb. In a confined space, people’s body heat can raise the ambient temperature, but on a global scale this effect is negligible, especially compared to the vast amount of heat energy the planet receives from the Sun, for example.
In general, global warming is not caused by heat sources on Earth, but rather by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere which prevent heat (mostly from the Sun) from dissipating into space. As humans, we therefore have a far greater impact on the climate through burning fossil fuels and therefore creating greenhouse gases than we do from our body heat.
- Will increased Sun activity make climate change worse?
- Are our pets bad for the environment?
- Do we really know what climate change will do to our planet?
- Can we filter greenhouse gases from the atmosphere?
Asked by: Annabel Halligan, Norwich
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