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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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ESD | Articles | Volume 9, issue 3
Earth Syst. Dynam., 9, 1127–1140, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-9-1127-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Special issue: Thermodynamics and optimality in the Earth system and its...

Earth Syst. Dynam., 9, 1127–1140, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-9-1127-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 21 Sep 2018

Research article | 21 Sep 2018

Diurnal land surface energy balance partitioning estimated from the thermodynamic limit of a cold heat engine

Axel Kleidon and Maik Renner

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Short summary
Turbulent fluxes represent an efficient way to transport heat and moisture from the surface into the atmosphere. Due to their inherently highly complex nature, they are commonly described by semiempirical relationships. What we show here is that these fluxes can also be predicted by viewing them as the outcome of a heat engine that operates between the warm surface and the cooler atmosphere and that works at its limit.
Turbulent fluxes represent an efficient way to transport heat and moisture from the surface into...
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