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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/esdd-6-407-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/esdd-6-407-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 02 Mar 2015

Research article | 02 Mar 2015

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Earth System Dynamics (ESD). The revised manuscript was not accepted.

Inferring global wind energetics from a simple Earth system model based on the principle of maximum entropy production

S. Karkar1,* and D. Paillard1 S. Karkar and D. Paillard
  • 1Laboratoire 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

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.

S. Karkar and D. Paillard
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
S. Karkar and D. Paillard
S. Karkar and D. Paillard
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Short summary
This paper proposes a method to infer global wind energetics of the atmosphere. It uses the energy fluxes obtained with a climate box-model previously proposed by Herbert et al., based on the maximization of entropy production (MEP) principle, to compute annual mean winds. Specific details of the circulation are not recovered, as the atmosphere is represented with only one layer, but global figures are well captured.
This paper proposes a method to infer global wind energetics of the atmosphere. It uses the...
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