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Q & A: Earth out of equilibrium

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Most recent answer: 01/02/2014
Q:
It is known that every system tries to.attain equilibrium. If we consider the earth as a system then how is equilibrium maintained when north pole have a very low temperature and places like deserts have very high temperature?
- anjika jain (age 16)
India
A:

The Earth will not get close to equilibrium for a very long time. The biggest reason is that it's bathed in solar radiation. More of it hits near the equator than near the poles. The Sun is far out of equilibrium because its nuclei aren't in their lowest energy state. It will take billions of years for the Sun to settle down.

Mike W.

 


(published on 01/02/2014)

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