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Maximum entropy production in environmental and ecological systems Introduction

MPG-Autoren
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;

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Zitation

Kleidon, A., Malhi, Y., & Cox, P. M. (2010). Maximum entropy production in environmental and ecological systems Introduction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London - Series B: Biological Sciences, 365(1545), 1297-1302. doi:10.1098/rstb.2010.0018.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-D9F8-A
Zusammenfassung
The coupled biosphere-atmosphere system entails a vast range of processes at different scales, from ecosystem exchange fluxes of energy, water and carbon to the processes that drive global biogeochemical cycles, atmospheric composition and, ultimately, the planetary energy balance. These processes are generally complex with numerous interactions and feedbacks, and they are irreversible in their nature, thereby producing entropy. The proposed principle of maximum entropy production (MEP), based on statistical mechanics and information theory, states that thermodynamic processes far from thermodynamic equilibrium will adapt to steady states at which they dissipate energy and produce entropy at the maximum possible rate. This issue focuses on the latest development of applications of MEP to the biosphere-atmosphere system including aspects of the atmospheric circulation, the role of clouds, hydrology, vegetation effects, ecosystem exchange of energy and mass, biogeochemical interactions and the Gaia hypothesis. The examples shown in this special issue demonstrate the potential of MEP to contribute to improved understanding and modelling of the biosphere and the wider Earth system, and also explore limitations and constraints to the application of the MEP principle.