Stability, complexity and the maximum dissipation conjecture



The formalism of irreversible thermodynamics is extended to include the effect of random perturbations and applied to representative systems giving rise to instabilities and to complex nonlinear behaviours. The extent to which dissipation as measured by the entropy production exhibits variational properties that can be linked to key indicators of the dynamical behaviour is explored with emphasis on the conjecture of the climate system as a system of maximum dissipation. Copyright © 2010 Royal Meteorological Society