# Endothermic reactions and climate change

I have seen some questions regarding climate change. What I want to know is would generating endothermic reactions in a mass controlled state counter balance global warming and reduce heat effect energies? Therefore by using thermal energies to complete the reaction and lowering external temperature such as photosynthesis reaction we could use up a lot of planetary thermal energy without adding mass. And why is the pole so cold but the equator hot.

• The sun drops about 1 kW per second on every square meter of the planet near the equator - much less near the poles because of the glancing incidence. That's why the poles are colder - and also, the amount of heat involved makes any chemical reaction infeasible. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 2:31

The issue is that the greenhouse effect causes us to hold onto more energy from the sun, which is coming in at a constant rate. To stop this with endothermic reactions, you would need to continuously find more raw materials to react.

And you would need a LOT of them. From one of my favorite tables in the world, Orders of Magnitude (Energy):

• $5\cdot10^{20} \text J$ -- Total world annual energy consumption
• $150\cdot10^{20} \text J$ -- Total energy from the Sun that strikes the face of the Earth each day
• $390\cdot10^{20} \text J$ -- Estimated energy contained in the world's fossil fuel reserves as of 2010

Yes, that much energy hits the planet every day. Even just a fraction of that would quickly swamp any endothermic reaction efforts we could muster.

You would need to continue to do the reaction indefinitely to offset warmer temperatures. If greenhouse gas levels stay high with constant sun and no other factors, more energy would always be being absorbed by the atmosphere than the environment could handle (warming was an initial part of the question). I am sure that any endothermic reaction would have a waste product, so eventually that waste product would start to pile up with no end in sight. Additionally, I am sure an endothermic reaction doesn't take much energy from an environment and the ones available to react that don't require energy in before we can do them (starting products are just sitting around in nature) are pretty small, and would require a lot of refining (which takes energy and produces heat) to get them in amounts to have a reaction you are looking for. Fundamentally though, yes, the heat is more of a problem than the extra CO2, that just makes plants photosynthesize a bit faster.

The poles are cold due to the light being at an angle. Imagine a beach ball being hit by light from a flashlight across the room. the middle (equator) of it will be brighter (warmer) than the poles, which are close to perpendicular. If you were standing on the beach ball as a planet, at the poles, your shadow would be long, at the equator, it would be directly beneath you.

Well, yes, but not because these endothermic reactions would directly absorb the heat being generated. The earth naturally radiates heat out into space in an equilibrium with the heat being put onto it by the sun every day. CO2 is a problem because it is building up in the atmosphere and it prevents the process of heat radiation into space.

Photosynthesis is an endothermic reaction and more photosynthesis would help solve the climate change problem, but not because it is endothermic. There is a natural balance in nature between the combustion of hydrocarbons and photosynthesis. Animals all combust sugars which are essentially hydrocarbons with oxygen in the cell respiration process to generate energy and this process releases CO2. This is the chemical equation for cell respiration:

glucose + oxygen → carbon dioxide + water + usable energy

C6H12O6 + 6O2 → 6CO2 + 6H2O + 38 ATP

Plants including phytoplankton in the world's oceans conduct photosynthesis which absorbs CO2 and produces Oxygen that animals then breathe. This is the chemical equation for photosynthesis:

6H2O + 6CO2 →(sunlight)= C6H12O6 + 6O2

The reason that climate change is occurring is that we are burning fossil fuels which is causing the build-up of CO2 in the atmosphere and prevents heat from radiating out into space. We are releasing far more C02 than the planet can absorb naturally.