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Constrained work output of the moist atmospheric heat engine in a warming climate

Constrained work output of the moist atmospheric heat engine in a warming climate
Constrained work output of the moist atmospheric heat engine in a warming climate
Incoming and outgoing solar radiation couple with heat exchange at Earth’s surface to drive weather patterns that redistribute heat and moisture around the globe, creating an atmospheric heat engine. Here, we investigate the engine’s work output using thermodynamic diagrams computed from reanalyzed observations and from a climate model simulation with anthropogenic forcing. We show that the work output is always less than that of an equivalent Carnot cycle and that it is constrained by the power necessary to maintain the hydrological cycle. In the climate simulation, the hydrological cycle increases more rapidly than the equivalent Carnot cycle. We conclude that the intensification of the hydrological cycle in warmer climates might limit the heat engine’s ability to generate work.
0036-8075
540-543
Laliberte, F.
62ee66b6-225c-478e-81bd-dc89efadf783
Zika, J.
1843cce7-77ce-4ef6-9f79-bcf4f9db30e5
Mudryk, L.
837d36f9-273a-4fd0-8292-d31066e92580
Kushner, P. J.
92451d50-dd96-47c9-a362-db7c3333cea3
Kjellsson, J.
386ed501-47f6-40a0-98a6-3fa741d02081
Doos, K.
3b9f110a-e6d5-4ff3-b2c9-1d7462edabc7
Laliberte, F.
62ee66b6-225c-478e-81bd-dc89efadf783
Zika, J.
1843cce7-77ce-4ef6-9f79-bcf4f9db30e5
Mudryk, L.
837d36f9-273a-4fd0-8292-d31066e92580
Kushner, P. J.
92451d50-dd96-47c9-a362-db7c3333cea3
Kjellsson, J.
386ed501-47f6-40a0-98a6-3fa741d02081
Doos, K.
3b9f110a-e6d5-4ff3-b2c9-1d7462edabc7

Laliberte, F., Zika, J., Mudryk, L., Kushner, P. J., Kjellsson, J. and Doos, K. (2015) Constrained work output of the moist atmospheric heat engine in a warming climate. Science, 347 (6221), 540-543. (doi:10.1126/science.1257103).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Incoming and outgoing solar radiation couple with heat exchange at Earth’s surface to drive weather patterns that redistribute heat and moisture around the globe, creating an atmospheric heat engine. Here, we investigate the engine’s work output using thermodynamic diagrams computed from reanalyzed observations and from a climate model simulation with anthropogenic forcing. We show that the work output is always less than that of an equivalent Carnot cycle and that it is constrained by the power necessary to maintain the hydrological cycle. In the climate simulation, the hydrological cycle increases more rapidly than the equivalent Carnot cycle. We conclude that the intensification of the hydrological cycle in warmer climates might limit the heat engine’s ability to generate work.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 3 December 2014
e-pub ahead of print date: 30 January 2015
Published date: 30 January 2015

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 445178
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/445178
ISSN: 0036-8075
PURE UUID: d9be8d88-9aba-4423-99d6-6145cbfa31b1

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Date deposited: 24 Nov 2020 17:34
Last modified: 07 Jan 2022 23:16

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Contributors

Author: F. Laliberte
Author: J. Zika
Author: L. Mudryk
Author: P. J. Kushner
Author: J. Kjellsson
Author: K. Doos

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