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Global warming refers to the rise in average global temperature due to the increased concentration of certain
gases, called greenhouse gases, in our atmosphere. Earth¡¯s oceans, because of their high heat capacity, can absorb
heat and therefore act to slow down global warming. How much heat would be required to warm Earth¡¯s
oceans by 1.0 ¡ãC? Assume that the volume of Earth¡¯s oceans is 137 x ¡¼10¡½^7 ¡¼km¡½^3 and that the density of seawater
is 1.03 g/cm3. Also assume that the heat capacity of seawater is the same as that of water.

  • chem -

    137 x 10^7 km^3

    1.03 g / cm^3

    4.184 g / cm^3

    We need to convert the volume of the oceans to cm^3 so density (g/cm^3 is in the same units.

    1 km = 1000 meters

    1 meter = 39.37 inches

    1 inch = 2.54 cm

    1 km x (1000 meters / 1km) = 1000 meters

    1000 meters x (39.37inches / 1 meter) = 39,370 inches

    39,370 inches x (2.54 cm / 1 inch) = 99999.8 centimeters

    so, 1 km = 99999.8 cm but we need the conversion factor for cubic km and cubic cm so we cubed these conversion factors now.

    (1km) ^3 = (99999.8 cm) ^3 = 1^3 km^3 = 99999.8 ^3 cm^3 = 1 km^3 = 9.99994 x 10^14 cm^3

    We now use this last conversion in our original data.

    (137 x 10^7 km^3) x (9.99994 x 10^14 cm^3 / 1 km) = 1.37 x 10^24 cubic centimeters

    (1.37 x 10^24 cubic centimeters) x (1.03g / cubic centimeters) = 1.41 x 10^24 grams of water in the world's oceans

    (1.41 x 10^24 grams) (4.184 joules / g degrees celsius) grams cancel and you are left with joules per degree celsius

    = 5.90 x 10^24 joules / degree celsius. The real answer is how many joules are required to raise the temperature of one gram of water one degree Celsius, so this

    answers our question. This question came from a Nivaldo Tro book that I have and the answer is not listed at the back of the book. Hope this helps.

  • chem -

    I apologize but in the original data at the top of my answer the heat capacity should read:

    (4.184 joules / (gram x degree celsius))

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