Global dynamics and climate - a system of minimum entropy exchange



It is found that the mean meridional distribution of temperature, cloud cover and meridional energy flux can be predicted with extraordinary accuracy by application of a simple minimum principle to a multi-box model of the globe which contains no direct specification of the system dynamics. The minimized quantity is related to the global net rate of production of entropy. It is the sum over all latitude zones of the ratio of net radiant energy input to the effective emission temperature of the zone. The result suggests that global dynamics is something of a passive variable which alters so as to satisfy a condition akin to minimum energy dissipation.