Winter is coming, snow is falling, and here in Jena we will need gas to heat our homes. Gas prices are at their all-time high, so how much heat do I need and how can I reduce it? I describe a simple, physical way to estimate how much energy I should need to heat our home, and how this can help to find out how effective measures are to reduce energy consumption.Continue reading “New Blogpost: How much energy will I consume to keep our home warm this winter? A simple estimate, utilizing climate data, gas meter readings, and past gas bills. And yes, the second law comes into play as well.”
Offshore wind energy is rapidly growing, but what happens when more and more wind turbines deplete the regional wind energy resource?Continue reading “New Paper: Estimating #offshore #windpower in the German bight. It describes the depletion effects of the #windenergy resource and its implications for the 70 GW target in an accessible way, based on our Agora Energiewende study. https://doi.org/10.1002/piuz.202201654 https://export.arxiv.org/pdf/2301.01043”
It is that time of the year again and the AGU Fall Meeting is all set to take place in the hybrid format. This year two members of our lab Sarosh Alam Ghausi and Yinglin Tian will be presenting their research in person at the conference.Continue reading “#AGU22: We will be in Chicago next week to present our updates about thermodynamic and energetic controls on land-atmosphere exchange and Arctic sea ice loss events”
Rainfall events are expected to become heavier as the hydrologic cycle intensifies with global warming. To determine this strengthening, many studies use observed precipitation events and test how these change with observed temperatures. These so-called scaling rates differ from what is expected from theory, showing a decline above temperatures of around 23° – 25°C. This breakdown in scaling makes it difficult to interpret the precipitation response to global warming and its cause further remains unclear. It also raises the question of whether a high-temperature threshold limits the increase in the intensity of precipitation events with temperature. We resolve this in our latest paper by showing that the break in scaling primarily occurs due to radiative effect of clouds on surface temperatures that leads to a covariation between the two variables.Continue reading “Can we infer rainfall sensitivity to global warming using observations of precipitation and temperature? Not quite, until you correct for the cooling effects of clouds.”
How does the second law of thermodynamics apply to the Earth system and why is it so important? As it turns out, it dominantly shapes natural Earth system functioning, from the climate system to hydrologic cycling, the biosphere, and renewable energy resources, yielding simple, emergent functioning as a consequence of systems operating at their thermodynamic limits. This short course provides the basics to understand why entropy is so important and how it shapes Earth system functioning.Continue reading “Short course on „Thermodynamics and Optimality in the Earth system“ – live in Florence and accessible online. If you ever wanted to know why the second law is so important, come and join!”
Over land, there is a marked variation in surface and air temperature during day and night, with the amplitude described by the diurnal temperature range. What are the main factors that determine its magnitude across regions and how much is it shaped by evaporation? This is what Annu Panwar looked at in her last part of her PhD using FluxNet observations and the ERA 5 reanalysis products, with the results just published online in the Journal of Climate. What this analysis shows is that energy balances go a long way to explain the main influences and that evaporation does not have quite such a strong effect as one may think.Continue reading “How much does evaporation affect temperature variations during the day? That’s what we looked at in a paper just published online in the Journal of Climate. @annuPanwar_sci @ametsoc @MPI_BGC”
Corona is still around, also in Vienna, but the EGU General Assembly will nevertheless happen again, in a hybrid form. We are thrilled to be there physically, giving our 6 minute short talks on our work, and look forward to seeing and talking to you there!
Thermodynamics, entropy and life — does this sound intriguing but also confusing to you? As part of the virtual Spring School on Physics and Mathematics applied to Ecology, organized by Oliver Lopez Corona, I give a lecture where I will cover how thermodynamics applies to the biosphere and the planetary environment, and how it connects to concepts such as the Gaia hypothesis or planetary boundaries. Hopefully, after the lecture, it is clearer to you what entropy is, how it applies to the Earth system, its biosphere, and their interactions. And why it is so important! If you are interested to learn more, this blogpost provides some links to literature mentioned in the lecture.Continue reading ““Thermodynamics and Optimality of the Biosphere” – online lecture, today, Friday, March 25, at 17:00 Jena time (CET) or 10:00 in Mexico. Interested? You can join too, if you like, here’s the link and background material.”
The position is in my research group, which focuses on how the Earth functions as a whole system, the role of life within it, and what a sustainable human future might look like. We take a unique Earth system approach that focuses on thermodynamics, energy conversions, and limits/optimality such as maximum power.
We are seeking a motivated and interested person to help us further develop this approach, evaluate it using observational data, and/or compare it to climate model results. More details are provided in the formal job announcement, which you can find here. More background information in this post.Continue reading “Interested in how the Earth system works? I have a #PostDoc opening available in my group, applying thermodynamics, max. power, and optimality to Earth system science. @MPI_BGC”
Evaporation cools, right? What may sound so obvious was the topic of Annu’s PhD thesis: to look into observations and find the effects of evaporation in how surface and near-surface air temperatures vary throughout the day. The results are not quite as obvious, and we learned a lot. Here is a brief summary of her thesis, with its contents spread over three papers. Very nice work!Continue reading “Last week our group member @annuPanwar_sci successfully defended her PhD thesis on diurnal temperature variations and how they are affected by evaporation and vegetation. Very well done, and congratulations, Annu! @mpibgc”