Inferring global wind energetics from a simple Earth system model based on the principle of maximum entropy production
S. Karkar1,* and D. Paillard11Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Orme des Merisiers, Bât. 701, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette CEDEX, France *now at: LEMA-EPFL, Station 11, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
Received: 18 Dec 2014 – Accepted for review: 20 Jan 2015 – Discussion started: 02 Mar 2015
Abstract. The question of total available wind power in the atmosphere is highly debated, as well as the effect large scale wind farms would have on the climate. Bottom-up approaches, such as those proposed by wind turbine engineers often lead to non-physical results (non-conservation of energy, mostly), while top-down approaches have proven to give physically consistent results. This paper proposes an original method for the calculation of mean annual wind energetics in the atmosphere, without resorting to heavy numerical integration of the entire dynamics. The proposed method is derived from a model based on the Maximum of Entropy Production (MEP) principle, which has proven to efficiently describe the annual mean temperature and energy fluxes, despite its simplicity. Because the atmosphere is represented with only one vertical layer and there is no vertical wind component, the model fails to represent the general circulation patterns such as cells or trade winds. However, interestingly, global energetic diagnostics are well captured by the mere combination of a simple MEP model and a flux inversion method.
Karkar, S. and Paillard, D.: Inferring global wind energetics from a simple Earth system model based on the principle of maximum entropy production, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., 6, 407-433, doi:10.5194/esdd-6-407-2015, 2015.