de.mpg.escidoc.pubman.appbase.FacesBean
English
 
Help Guide Disclaimer Contact us Login
  Advanced SearchBrowse

Item

ITEM ACTIONSEXPORT

Released

Journal Article

A basic introduction to the thermodynamics of the Earth system far from equilibrium and maximum entropy production

MPS-Authors
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons62438

Kleidon,  A.
Research Group Biospheric Theory and Modelling, Dr. A. Kleidon, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

Locator
Fulltext (public)
There are no public fulltexts available
Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available
Citation

Kleidon, A. (2010). A basic introduction to the thermodynamics of the Earth system far from equilibrium and maximum entropy production. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London - Series B: Biological Sciences, 365(1545), 1303-1315. doi:10.1098/rstb.2009.0310.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-D9EF-F
Abstract
The Earth system is remarkably different from its planetary neighbours in that it shows pronounced, strong global cycling of matter. These global cycles result in the maintenance of a unique thermodynamic state of the Earth's atmosphere which is far from thermodynamic equilibrium (TE). Here, I provide a simple introduction of the thermodynamic basis to understand why Earth system processes operate so far away from TE. I use a simple toy model to illustrate the application of non-equilibrium thermodynamics and to classify applications of the proposed principle of maximum entropy production (MEP) to such processes into three different cases of contrasting flexibility in the boundary conditions. I then provide a brief overview of the different processes within the Earth system that produce entropy, review actual examples of MEP in environmental and ecological systems, and discuss the role of interactions among dissipative processes in making boundary conditions more flexible. I close with a brief summary and conclusion.