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 What is heat?

  • In the microscope scheme, an object’s temperature is the average kinetic energy of its constituent particles. 

  • When two bodies at different temperatures come in contact, the temperature of the cooler one will rise and vice versa; heat here is the amount of thermal energy the bodies have exchanged to effect this temperature change

  • Macroscopically, heat is dealt with as a form of energy with specific characteristics, understood using the tools of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, among other fields.

  • A medium can absorb heat at one location and dissipate it at another — a possibility that forms the basis of many modern technologies, including thermal and nuclear power plants and air conditioning. 

  • Engineers have developed ways to convert heat into mechanical energy, paving the way for machines like the internal combustion engine

How is heat implicated in climate change?

  • The world is responding to climate change on two fronts: mitigation and adaptation

  • Vis-à-vis climate mitigation, researchers around the world are devising new ways to produce heat energy for various applications without involving the combustion of fossil fuels and/or finding ways to reduce emissions from existing technologies 

  • During a heat wave, how healthy the body already is and how well it can prevent the accumulation of heat are very important.

  • The former depends on long-term living conditions, access to clean living conditions, and access to healthcare; the latter speaks to the short-term means available for a body to slow its accumulation of heat. 

  • Global warming itself is fundamentally a heat problem. 

  • Of the energy coming to the earth from the Sun, some is reflected, some is absorbed by the atmosphere, and some warms the ground

  • At night-time, the planet releases this absorbed energy in the form of infrared radiation

  • Greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapour, absorb this radiation, translate it to kinetic energy and warm up the atmosphere, reducing the efficiency with which the earth’s surface can cool down.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Heat UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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