The climate system as a whole can be viewed as a highly complex thermal/heat engine, in which numerous processes continuously interact to transform heat into work and vice-versa. As any physical system, the climate system obeys the basic laws of thermodynamics, and we may therefore expect the tools of non-equilibrium thermodynamics to be particularly useful in describing and synthesising its properties. The main aim of this short course will be twofold. Part 1 will provide an advanced introduction to the fundamentals of equilibrium and non-equilibrium thermodynamics, irreversible processes and energetics of multicomponent stratified fluids. Part 2 will illustrate the usefulness of this viewpoint to summarize the main features of the climate system in terms of thermodynamic cycles, as well as a diagnostic tool to constrain the behavior of climate models. Although the aim is for this to be a self-contained module, some basic knowledge of the subject would be beneficial to the participants.
- The first part, chaired by Remi Tailleux, will provide an advanced introduction on the fundamentals of equilibrium and non-equilibrium thermodynamics, irreversible processes and energetics...
- The second part, chaired by Valerio Lembo and Gabriele Messori, will illustrate some applications of thermodynamics to the study of the climate system and its general circulation.