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!
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”
In Germany, the construction of Tesla’s Gigafactory near Berlin draws its attention, including its substantial need for freshwater. Despite its many lakes, the area around Berlin is among the driest in Germany. The atmosphere contains water vapor, and it seems like a tempting source for freshwater, just sitting there to be harvested by some form of technology. This is what a company claims to do (and quite a few others elsewhere as well). But can this promise hold up?Continue reading “Can we solve the freshwater problem by taking moisture out of the atmosphere with dehumidifiers? When we look at how the hydrologic cycle does its work, we get a straight and clear answer: no, we don’t solve the problem!”
Die Erde arbeitet wie ein Kraftwerk, indem sie Sonnenenergie in andere Formen umwandelt, die die Winde der Atmosphäre, den Wasserkreislauf, und auch das Leben und die Menschheit auf der Erde erhalten. Diese Umwandlungen folgen den Gesetzen der Thermodynamik, die sowohl die Richtung als auch die Grenzen setzt. Aber Erdsystemprozesse beeinflussen sich auch gegenseitig, sodass man einen Blick auf das Gesamtsystem braucht. In diesem Vortrag zeige ich, dass man allein durch diesen grundlegenden physikalischen Ansatz schon erstaunlich viel vom Erdsystem verstehen kann – über die fundamentalen Rolle von Energie und Entropie, wie Leben den Planeten verändert, aber auch zu angewandten Themen wie dem Klimawandel und warum die Photovoltaik die Technologie ist, die bei weitem den größten Beitrag zur Energiewende liefern wird.Continue reading ““Kraftwerk Erde: Wie der belebte Planet Energie umwandelt” – Vortrag bei #FasziAstroOnline, heute Abend, 13.01.2022, 19 Uhr, live auf youtube. Mehr Infos im Blog. @MPI_BGC @HdAstro”
Corona has not yet gone away, but the AGU Fall Meeting nevertheless takes place, in a hybrid format. Annu Panwar will be physically there, giving an invited talk on her PhD thesis on diurnal temperature variations (see, e.g., her paper in HESS) and a poster, while Sarosh Alam Ghausi will be giving his poster on precipitation scaling virtually.Continue reading “At #AGU21, we present updates on understanding diurnal temperature variations on land and on deriving precipitation sensitivities from observations using “clear-sky” temperatures and maximum power”
With summer coming to a close, we are back to present new insights from ongoing research in extreme precipitation events, offshore wind energy and thermodynamics at the European Meteorological Society Annual Meeting 2021. The event, which will be held online next week (6 – 10 September 2021), focuses on weather and climate research and services for the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Read on to find out more details about when and what each of us will be presenting.Continue reading “#vEMS21: Our updates on using #thermodynamics for land-atmosphere interactions, the precipitation response to #globalwarming, and the #windenergy potential in the German bight”
Thermodynamics rules the world, as well as the science that we present at this year’s EGU General Assembly, which is, alas, virtual rather than in Vienna. It may not be obvious, and our contributions are spread across different sessions. But in the end, we follow the solar energy as it passes through the Earth system, seeking simple, physics-based explanations to simple phenomena: precipitation scaling with temperature found in observations, the diurnal temperature range across regions and vegetation types, also in observations, limits to offshore wind energy in the North sea and what these imply for renewable energy scenarios, and how the really low efficiency of photosynthesis fits to the notion of vegetation being optimal.Continue reading “#vEGU21 Next week we’ll present our work on precipitation scaling, diurnal temperature range, offshore wind, and limits to vegetation productivity based on our thermodynamic Earth system view”
Wind energy plays an important role in the transition to a carbon-neutral, sustainable energy system and is rapidly expanding. So it is a good time to ask how much wind energy there actually is, whether we get close to the limits anytime soon, and why the efficiency of wind energy must decline when used at larger scales. These are basic science questions: How, and why, does the atmosphere actually generate motion, how much does it generate, and how much of it can at most be used? These questions I address in a review paper just published in which I show that it does not take much physics to answer these.Continue reading “Why does wind energy become less efficient when used at larger scales? Basic physics explains this effect, starting with a very limited ability of the atmosphere to generate wind energy from radiation, as described in my new review just published.”
Corona has impeded everything in 2020 including researchers’ involvement in scientific conferences. However, innovation and the internet made it possible to contribute to large and much anticipated conferences like the AGU Fall Meeting ‘20. Thus, 2 of our PhD researchers, Annu Panwar and Jonathan Minz, presented their scientific results, keeping the spirit of science communication alive, despite tough times.Continue reading “AGU Fall Meeting 2020: A brief summary of our contributions and takeways”