SC4.11 | Thermodynamics and energetics of the oceans, atmosphere and climate


The proposed short course is one that we have taught twice in-person and once virtually at the EGU over the past 4 years, and that has always been attended to full capacity and with very positive feedback, so that we propose to teach it again this year.

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.

Co-organized by AS6/CL6/CR8/NP9/OS5
Convener: Remi Tailleux | Co-conveners: Valerio LemboECSECS, Gabriele Messori
Fri, 28 Apr, 10:45–12:30 (CEST)
Room -2.61/62
Fri, 10:45
The oral presentations are given in a hybrid format supported by a Zoom meeting featuring on-site and virtual presentations. The button to access the Zoom meeting appears just before the time block starts.