• picture
  • picture
PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Hot As Hell?

Air Date: Week of March 30, 2007

stream/download this segment as an MP3 file

Host Bruce Gellerman reports on a new study that measures, for the first time, the temperature 2,400 miles deep into the earth.

Transcript

GELLERMAN: Geophysicist Roger Searle is aboard the RRS James Cook He’s trying to figure out what happened to a missing piece of the earth’s crust beneath the Atlantic Ocean. Professor Searle’s research reveals the many gaps in our understanding of what happens deep within the earth where intense heat powers nearly all of the planet’s geological processes.

Exactly how hot is it down there? That’s a question scientists and theologians have been asking for centuries. Well, now, MIT geo-physicist Rob Van der Hilst has the answer and it’s published in the latest edition of Science magazine. His team used seismic waves to make the first direct measurements of the temperatures at the region where the mantel meets the molten outer core of the earth - 18 hundred miles down. They report it’s a sin scorching 7000 degrees Fahrenheit

It’s ground breaking research and it’s helped give the study of deep Earth Science the big mo! And later this year Japanese researchers will begin drilling four miles into the earth by far the deepest probe into our planet yet. It’s a half billion dollar effort in search of answers to that most fundamental of questions just what the hell is going on down there?

[MUSIC: The Crazy World of Arthur Brown “Fire!” from ‘Fire! The Story of Arthur Brown’ (Castle Recordings - 2003)]

 

 

Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

P.O. Box 990007
Prudential Station
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Telephone: 1-617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Newsletter
Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Major funding for Living on Earth is provided by the National Science Foundation.

Committed to healthy food, healthy people, a healthy planet, and healthy business.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live.

Kendeda Fund, furthering the values that contribute to a healthy planet.

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary hummingbird photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.