Maximum entropy production - invalid principle?

This paper is interesting to me because it discusses the principle of maximum entropy production and offers evidence that's it's not true in the Earth's climate system. I'm not surprised since I've never seen anyone offer a reason for this principle to be true in general. But it's nice to see someone tackling it head-on. They write:

Lorenz (1960) proposed that the atmospheric general circulation is organized to maximise kinetic energy dissipation (MKED), or, equivalently, the generation of APE. Similarly Paltridge (1975, 1978) suggested that Earth’s climate structure might be explained from a hypothesis of maximum entropy production (MEP). Closely related principles have been popular also in biology and engineering. For example the ‘‘maximum power principle’’, advocated by Odum (1988) for biological systems, is consistent with the maximum dissipation conjecture; the ‘‘constructal law’’ of Bejan and Lorente (2004) is very closely related to MEP as discussed by Kleidon (2009). A broad discussion on the maximizing power generation and transfer for Earth system processes can be found in Kleidon (2010).

However:

We conclude that the maximum entropy production conjecture does not hold within the climate system when the effects of the hydrological cycle and radiative feedbacks are taken into account, but our experiments provide some evidence in support of the conjecture of maximum APE (= available potential energy) production (or equivalently maximum dissipation of kinetic energy).

Comments

  • 1.
    edited December 2012

    It's only slightly related, but maybe you're also interested in this paper on Maximum entropy profiles discussing the temperature profile in the atmosphere (I thought it's perhaps of interest because it mentions maximum entropy and because Graham mentioned the 'mysteriosity' of temperature profiles here)

    Compared to the 'usual' way of deriving the linear temperature profile, I find the method of the paper rather counter-intuitive, even though I'm used to variational techniques.

    Comment Source:It's only slightly related, but maybe you're also interested in this paper on [Maximum entropy profiles](http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0469%282004%29061%3C0931%3AOMEP%3E2.0.CO%3B2) discussing the temperature profile in the atmosphere (I thought it's perhaps of interest because it mentions maximum entropy and because Graham mentioned the 'mysteriosity' of temperature profiles [here](http://azimuth.mathforge.org/discussion/1115/why-the-logarithm-co2-forcing/?Focus=8055#Comment_8055)) Compared to the 'usual' way of deriving the linear temperature profile, I find the method of the paper rather counter-intuitive, even though I'm used to variational techniques.
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