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Entropy versus APE production: on the buoyancy power input in the oceans energy cycle

Tailleux, R. G. J. (2010) Entropy versus APE production: on the buoyancy power input in the oceans energy cycle. Geophysical Research Letters, 37. L22603. ISSN 0094-8276

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2010GL044962

Abstract/Summary

This letter argues that the current controversy about whether Wbuoyancy, the power input due to the surface buoyancy fluxes, is large or small in the oceans stems from two distinct and incompatible views on how Wbuoyancy relates to the volume-integrated work of expansion/contraction B. The current prevailing view is that Wbuoyancy should be identified with the net value of B, which current theories estimate to be small. The alternative view, defended here, is that only the positive part of B, i.e., the one converting internal energy into mechanical energy, should enter the definition of Wbuoyancy, since the negative part of B is associated with the non-viscous dissipation of mechanical energy. Two indirect methods suggest that by contrast, the positive part of B is potentially large.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Walker Institute for Climate System Research
ID Code:17557
Uncontrolled Keywords:AVAILABLE POTENTIAL-ENERGY; HORIZONTAL CONVECTION; HEAT ENGINE; CIRCULATION; ENERGETICS; TURBULENT; MODELS
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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