Special ClimaTea


Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 1:00pm


Hoffman Lab, Faculty Lounge 409

Speaker: Dr. Axel Kleidon from Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry

Title: "Using thermodynamic limits to infer estimates of climate and global climate change"

Abstract:  Climate is commonly evaluated using observations or highly complex numerical simulation models, yet simple, back-of-the-envelope estimates are typically lacking.  In this talk I show that such an approach can be developed out of extremely simple energy balance models in which the effects of motion are captured by the assumption that the generation of motion operates at its thermodynamic limit.  This limit is shaped by the laws of thermodynamics as well as the interaction of heat transport with the driving temperature difference.  I show that this approach predicts observed surface energy balance partitioning very well with a minimum need for information.  I then apply this approach to understand the different temperature sensitivities of land and oceans to global warming and the sensitivity of hydrologic cycling to radiative changes.

See also: ClimaTea