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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
07 Mar 2011
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript for further review has not been submitted.
Climate change, in the framework of the constructal law
M. Clausse1, F. Meunier1, A. H. Reis2, and A. Bejan3 1Laboratory of Chemical Engineering applied to Environment, Energy and Health (LGP2ES-EA21), Conservatoire National des Art et Metiers (CNAM), case 331, 292, rue St Martin, 75141 Paris Cedex 03, France
2Department of Physics and Evora Geophysics Centre, University of Évora, Ramalho, 59, 7000-67 1 Evora, Portugal
3Department of Mechanical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0300, USA
Abstract. Here we present a simple and transparent alternative to the complex models of Earth thermal behavior under time-changing conditions. We show the one-to-one relationship between changes in atmospheric properties and time-dependent changes in temperature and its distribution on Earth. The model accounts for convection and radiation, thermal inertia and changes in albedo (ρ) and greenhouse factor (γ). The constructal law is used as the principle that governs the evolution of flow configuration in time, and provides closure for the equations that describe the model. In the first part of the paper, the predictions are tested against the current thermal state of Earth. Next, the model showed that for two time-dependent scenarios, (δρ = 0.002; δγ = 0.011) and (δρ = 0.002; δγ = 0.005) the predicted equatorial and polar temperature increases and the time scales are (ΔTH = 1.16 K; ΔTL = 1.11 K; 104 years) and (0.41 K; 0.41 K; 57 years), respectively. In the second part, a continuous model of temperature variation was used to predict the thermal response of the Earth's surface for changes bounded by δρ = δγ and δρ = −δγ. The results show that the global warming amplitudes and time scales are consistent with those obtained for δρ = 0.002 and δγ = 0.005. The poleward heat current reaches its maximum in the vicinity of 35° latitude, accounting for the position of the Ferrel cell between the Hadley and Polar Cells.

Citation: Clausse, M., Meunier, F., Reis, A. H., and Bejan, A.: Climate change, in the framework of the constructal law, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss.,, in review, 2011.
M. Clausse et al.
Interactive discussionStatus: closed (peer review stopped)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version      Supplement - Supplement
RC C51: 'Climate change, the framework of the constructal law', Anonymous Referee #1, 11 Apr 2011 Printer-friendly Version 
AC C100: 'Reply to Reviewer #1', Adrian Bejan, 02 May 2011 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
RC C111: 'Invited Reviewer Comments', Anonymous Referee #2, 05 May 2011 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
AC C243: 'Reply to referees', Adrian Bejan, 25 Jul 2011 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
M. Clausse et al.
M. Clausse et al.


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