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Thermodynamics in global climate and climate models

I've been looking for a good textbook about the thermodynamics of oceans, the atmosphere and how they are included into climate models, and I think I have found one:

  • Vardavas, Taylor: "Radiation and Climate", Oxford University Press, International Series of Monographs on Physics, 2007

They have a brilliant introduction with a bird's eye view of the most important processes, including the role of aerosols, e.g.:

Aerosol particles affect the Earth’s climate by influencing its radiation energy budget in two ways; i) directly by scattering and absorbing solar radiation, and ii) indirectly, by modifying the cloud microphysical properties. Aerosols can act as cloud condensation nuclei, affecting cloud optical and radiative properties (cloud albedo and optical thickness) or cloud amount, lifetime and precipitation effciency. In climate research, these are known as the first and second indirect aerosol effects, respectively.

Modern climate models must attempt to incorporate both the direct and indirect radiative forcing effects of aerosols. However, despite significant progress in understanding the role of aerosols in climate, it still remains a large uncertainty.

Aerosols exhibit large spatial–temporal variability and heterogeneity associated with their short atmospheric lifetime and complex interactions with clouds in terms of both their physical and chemical properties. In order to improve the aerosol parameterization schemes in climate models, and the accuracy of estimated aerosol radiative forcings, monitoring of the spatial and temporal distributions of aerosol physical, chemical, optical and radiative properties is required both on global and local scales.

Maybe we could do a blog post about aerosols and their role as the major known source of uncertainty in climate models, some day.

There is also a book

  • Curry, Webster: "Thermodynamics of the Atmosphere",

but that seems to be more basic (explaining the first and second law of thermodynamics), and does not mention climate models explicitly.

Anyway, is there a page where I should put these? I did not find any obvious best one...

Comments

  • 1.

    Until you find the best one, "recommended reading" will do. I have a physics textbook listed there already.

    Or, start a page on "climate physics".

    Comment Source:Until you find the best one, "recommended reading" will do. I have a physics textbook listed there already. Or, start a page on "climate physics".
  • 2.

    I don't think I'd say that aerosols are "the" major known source of uncertainty in climate model. I'd probably say "clouds", of which aerosol-cloud interactions are one component.

    Comment Source:I don't think I'd say that aerosols are "the" major known source of uncertainty in climate model. I'd probably say "clouds", of which aerosol-cloud interactions are one component.
  • 3.
    edited June 2011

    Oh, ok. Then maybe a blog post about cloud physics - but for that I'm still on the hunt for a good book at my level.

    Anyway, I'm not sure if there is a matching page on the Wiki for this topic, "climate physics" is a bit too general, it's more like "climate thermodynamics".

    From what I understand now, the minimum GCM should cover the fluid dynamics of atmosphere and oceans (one big part), and their thermodynamics (the other big part). One part without the other doesn't make much sense, it would seem. So "climate physics" should cover both aspects.

    Comment Source:Oh, ok. Then maybe a blog post about cloud physics - but for that I'm still on the hunt for a good book at my level. Anyway, I'm not sure if there is a matching page on the Wiki for this topic, "climate physics" is a bit too general, it's more like "climate thermodynamics". From what I understand now, the minimum GCM should cover the fluid dynamics of atmosphere and oceans (one big part), and their thermodynamics (the other big part). One part without the other doesn't make much sense, it would seem. So "climate physics" should cover <i>both</i> aspects.
  • 4.

    If the more general page "climate physics" is just getting started (and indeed it doesn't even exist), it's okay to postpone the creation of the more specialized page "climate thermodynamics" until there's enough on "climate physics" to require splitting it up.

    Comment Source:If the more general page "climate physics" is just getting started (and indeed it doesn't even exist), it's okay to postpone the creation of the more specialized page "climate thermodynamics" until there's enough on "climate physics" to require splitting it up.
  • 5.

    You might want to read Clouds in the Perturbed Climate System: Their Relationship to Energy Balance, Atmospheric Dynamics, and Precipitation by Heintzenberg and Charlson (eds). It's a collection of review articles. They are aimed at meteorologists, but I think a fair bit should be accessible to the educated layman.

    Comment Source:You might want to read [Clouds in the Perturbed Climate System: Their Relationship to Energy Balance, Atmospheric Dynamics, and Precipitation](http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=11796) by Heintzenberg and Charlson (eds). It's a collection of review articles. They are aimed at meteorologists, but I think a fair bit should be accessible to the educated layman.
  • 6.
    edited June 2011

    I've got that one on my reading list, and also

    • Jerry Straka: "Cloud and Precipitation Microphysics",

    which has a special emphasis on parameterization schemes, i.e. how knowledge about the physics should be turned into heuristic functions for climate models. But I'm a little bit insecure because all authors keep emphasizing that this is a very complicated topic, and Straka writes that his book cannot be a replacement for a thorough course on the physics - while he concentrates on the parameterization part.

    But maybe I should just go ahead and read it :-)

    Mathematicians and physicists like to scare their layman readers and appease their colleagues (who have slightly different interests) by listing endlessly all the most important topics, results and open problems that they don't cover in their 1500 page treatise on an introduction to X.

    Comment Source:I've got that one on my reading list, and also * Jerry Straka: "Cloud and Precipitation Microphysics", which has a special emphasis on parameterization schemes, i.e. how knowledge about the physics should be turned into heuristic functions for climate models. But I'm a little bit insecure because all authors keep emphasizing that this is a very complicated topic, and Straka writes that his book cannot be a replacement for a thorough course on the physics - while he concentrates on the parameterization part. But maybe I should just go ahead and read it :-) Mathematicians and physicists like to scare their layman readers and appease their colleagues (who have slightly different interests) by listing endlessly all the most important topics, results and open problems that they don't cover in their 1500 page treatise on an introduction to X.
  • 7.

    I keep wishing you'd blog about the stuff you're learning, Tim. But I guess that takes extra time, and maybe also you're less happy than I am to blog about stuff you're just learning.

    Comment Source:I keep wishing you'd blog about the stuff you're learning, Tim. But I guess that takes extra time, and maybe also you're less happy than I am to blog about stuff you're just learning.
  • 8.

    Right now I'm thinking about three projects:

    • The meaning of "evaluation" of climate models. I don't know if this is of any interest to others...

    • Solutions of nonlinear partial differential equations as geodesics in infinite dimensional Fréchet manifolds, (have to read Arnold's book before that)

    • Radiation balance of the atmosphere. Have to learn a lot more about that, right now I'm reading "slaying the sky dragon" to learn about some, ugh, basic misconceptions. Like, for example, "there is no greenhouse effect because that would violate the second law of thermodynamics".

    I also had no idea that it is possible to misunderstand so much about earth balance models.

    There are two limiting factors: I'm not sure what would be interesting to others, especially the readers of the Azimuth blog, and spare time.

    Comment Source:Right now I'm thinking about three projects: - The meaning of "evaluation" of climate models. I don't know if this is of any interest to others... - Solutions of nonlinear partial differential equations as geodesics in infinite dimensional Fréchet manifolds, (have to read Arnold's book before that) - Radiation balance of the atmosphere. Have to learn a lot more about that, right now I'm reading "slaying the sky dragon" to learn about some, ugh, basic misconceptions. Like, for example, "there is no greenhouse effect because that would violate the second law of thermodynamics". I also had no idea that it is possible to misunderstand so much about earth balance models. There are two limiting factors: I'm not sure what would be interesting to others, especially the readers of the Azimuth blog, and spare time.
  • 9.

    The "Science of Doom" blog has a lot of good tutorials on atmospheric radiation balance. I think John has mentioned it.

    Comment Source:The "Science of Doom" blog has a lot of good tutorials on atmospheric radiation balance. I think John has mentioned it.
  • 10.

    There are two limiting factors: I'm not sure what would be interesting to others, especially the readers of the Azimuth blog, and spare time.

    The only limiting factor should be your spare time! As for whether people would be interested: don't worry about that. I'll keep saying it: the main rule of thumb about blogging is not to worry about it too much. The people who worry about it too much are called "non-bloggers".

    Like, for example, "there is no greenhouse effect because that would violate the second law of thermodynamics".

    I also had no idea that it is possible to misunderstand so much about earth balance models.

    Oh, you can read plenty of wonderfully idiotic arguments about the second law and global warming. For example, the famous (in US) left-wing reporter Alexander Cockburn writes:

    This admission edges close to acknowledgement of a huge core problem – that “greenhouse” theory and the vaunted greenhouse models violate the second law of thermodynamics which says that a cooler body cannot warm a hotter body. Greenhouse gasses in the cold upper atmosphere, even when warmed a bit by absorbed infrared, cannot possibly transfer heat to the warmer earth, and in fact radiate their absorbed heat into outer space. Readers interested in the science can read mathematical physicist Gerhard Gerlich’s and Ralf Tscheuchner’s detailed paper published in The International Journal of Modern Physics, updated in January , 2009, “Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics”.

    Somewhere there's a series of blog posts where somebody patiently tries to explain heat transfer to a mob of fools, with no success... it's pretty depressing.

    Comment Source:> There are two limiting factors: I'm not sure what would be interesting to others, especially the readers of the Azimuth blog, and spare time. The only limiting factor should be your spare time! As for whether people would be interested: don't worry about that. I'll keep saying it: the main rule of thumb about blogging is not to worry about it too much. The people who worry about it too much are called "non-bloggers". > Like, for example, "there is no greenhouse effect because that would violate the second law of thermodynamics". > I also had no idea that it is possible to misunderstand so much about earth balance models. Oh, you can read plenty of wonderfully idiotic arguments about the second law and global warming. For example, the famous (in US) left-wing reporter Alexander Cockburn [writes](http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn12182009.html): > This admission edges close to acknowledgement of a huge core problem – that “greenhouse” theory and the vaunted greenhouse models violate the second law of thermodynamics which says that a cooler body cannot warm a hotter body. Greenhouse gasses in the cold upper atmosphere, even when warmed a bit by absorbed infrared, cannot possibly transfer heat to the warmer earth, and in fact radiate their absorbed heat into outer space. Readers interested in the science can read mathematical physicist Gerhard Gerlich’s and Ralf Tscheuchner’s detailed paper published in The International Journal of Modern Physics, updated in January , 2009, “Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics”. Somewhere there's a series of blog posts where somebody patiently tries to explain heat transfer to a mob of fools, with no success... it's pretty depressing.
  • 11.

    I bought this and read it when I wanted to get the gist of climate physics, FW Taylor, "Elementary Climate Physics", OUP 2005. I got it used still in very good condition on amazon and very cheap. This is introductory

    If you want to get to the gist of computational functional analysis,and understand about Frechet derivatives i'd recommend "Computational Functional Analysis" by R.Moore and M. Cloud . Which is geared towards CS majors and senior undergraduates . They assume some diff eqs , linear algebra. All required functional analysis is presented in the book. But i'd recommend getting a motivational reading by looking at applications, Neumann series , Picard iterations 53ff, Galerkin's method (for more efficient FEM) pp 65ff, frechet derivatives ch16.

    this is "theoretical numerical analysis" if you want to get another perspective on it

    Comment Source:I bought this and read it when I wanted to get the gist of climate physics, FW Taylor, "Elementary Climate Physics", OUP 2005. I got it used still in very good condition on amazon and very cheap. This is introductory If you want to get to the gist of computational functional analysis,and understand about Frechet derivatives i'd recommend "Computational Functional Analysis" by R.Moore and M. Cloud . Which is geared towards CS majors and senior undergraduates . They assume some diff eqs , linear algebra. All required functional analysis is presented in the book. But i'd recommend getting a motivational reading by looking at applications, Neumann series , Picard iterations 53ff, Galerkin's method (for more efficient FEM) pp 65ff, frechet derivatives ch16. this is "theoretical numerical analysis" if you want to get another perspective on it
  • 12.
    edited June 2011

    Thanks, Staffan, for the Fréchet mainfold part I'm looking for a textbook that explains the various triviality results for Fréchet and Banach manifolds that motivated the approach of Michor and Kriegl which is explained in

    • Michor, Kriegl: The Convenient Setting of Global Analysis

    This approach is designed to handle manifolds modelled on locally convex vector spaces that are not metrizable (their approach coincides with the usual one precisely on the level of Fréchet spaces, in the sense that their convenient topology on the model space coincides with the original locally convex topology if the model space is a Fréchet space).

    Wikipedia cites

    • Henderson, David W. (1969). "Infinite-dimensional manifolds are open subsets of Hilbert space"

    which proves that separable, metrizable Fréchet manifolds are isomorphic to open subsets of Hilbert spaces as topological manifolds, so that those are not really interesting. What I don't get is what this means for the smooth structure, this seems to be much harder, with results for specific Banach space settings only, as shown in

    • Eells, Elworthy: "Open embeddings of certain Banach manifolds" (Ann. Math. 91, 1970, 465-485).
    Comment Source:Thanks, Staffan, for the Fréchet mainfold part I'm looking for a textbook that explains the various triviality results for Fréchet and Banach manifolds that motivated the approach of Michor and Kriegl which is explained in * Michor, Kriegl: The Convenient Setting of Global Analysis This approach is designed to handle manifolds modelled on locally convex vector spaces that are not metrizable (their approach coincides with the usual one precisely on the level of Fréchet spaces, in the sense that their convenient topology on the model space coincides with the original locally convex topology if the model space is a Fréchet space). Wikipedia cites * Henderson, David W. (1969). "Infinite-dimensional manifolds are open subsets of Hilbert space" which proves that separable, metrizable Fréchet manifolds are isomorphic to open subsets of Hilbert spaces as <i>topological</i> manifolds, so that those are not really interesting. What I don't get is what this means for the <i>smooth</i> structure, this seems to be much harder, with results for specific Banach space settings only, as shown in * Eells, Elworthy: "Open embeddings of certain Banach manifolds" (Ann. Math. 91, 1970, 465-485).
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