Inderscience Publishers

Thermodynamics of climate change


Climate modelling is discussed from a thermodynamic point of view, using a control volume approach in which the environment and a superficial layer of the earth form the volume, concentric spherical shell of predominantly gaseous content with a thin layer of the earth. An energy equation that includes anthropogenic heat is suggested based on the mass balance of fossil fuel introduced into the control volume. It is argued that the use of temperature as a climate change indicator should be deemphasised since other thermodynamic coordinates including pressure, wind speed, humidity, etc. are just as important. The concept of Equivalent Rate of Evaporation (ERE) is introduced to better estimate the impact of enthalpy of vaporisation on climate change. This approach offers a more lucid understanding of the climate model, with indubitably more accurate results.

Keywords: climate change, thermodynamics, energy equations, control volume, climate modelling, anthropogenic heat, mass balance, fossil fuel, temperature, pressure, wind speed, humidity, equivalent rate of evaporation, ERE, heat of vaporisation, enthalpy of vaporisation

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