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This animated image shows heat rising in convection currents from the outer boundary of the core and cooling at the surface.

Cooling History, part 2

The heat of a body has the power to control activity because energy must be transported from the warmest spots to the coolest spots by whatever means is possible. The process of cooling causes activities on a planet.

Planetary bodies cool by way of:

  • 1.) convection of material inside the body, which brings hot material from the deep interior closer to the surface
  • 2.) volcanism, which brings hot material to the surface
  • 3.) convective motions in the atmosphere and oceans, where air/water is transported from the warm equatorial regions to the cooler poles
  • 4.) radiation of infrared energy (heat) directly to space from the surface.
If a planet is small, it can cool much faster to space than can a body which is larger.

Earth has had a long a complicated cooling history. An understanding of the Earth's history might begin with the record of geologic time.

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