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Poster presentations by Gorshkov V.G. and Makarieva A.M.
made at the Open Science Conference "Challenges of a Changing Earth"
July 10-13, 2001, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
|"Physical and biological self-organisation"||abstract||full text (PDF, 1.3 Mb).|
|"The biotic nature of climate stability on Earth"||abstract||extended text (PDF, 0.4 Mb)|
|"Diffusion of thermal photons in the atmosphere"||abstract||extended text (PDF, 0.1 Mb)|
Gorshkov V.G., Makarieva A.M.
Closed physical systems tend to the state of maximum chaos (entropy) and are unable to increase the degree of their orderliness spontaneously. This statement constitutes the essence of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Physical systems existing in external energy fluxes or physical systems with accumulated potential energy are able to increase their orderliness evolving to a new state of physical self-organisation. Physical self-organisation is characterised by an additional amount of information in the system. This amount is fully determined by characterist ics of the external energy fluxes or accumulated potential energy. In the course of evolution, biological systems have accumulated an amount of information which exceeds by more than twenty orders of magnitude information stores of any physical systems existing in any external energy flux found in the Earth's environment. It follows that no external energy fluxes are able to increase orderliness of biological systems. During time periods shorter than characteristic time of evolution (of the order of million years) biological systems stabilise the achieved level of orderliness by eliminating defective individuals from natural populations. In the absence of such process of selection, biological systems may only decrease their orderliness irrespective of the external energy fluxes supporting them. This property of biological systems is similar to the Second Law of Thermodynamics which applies to closed physical systems. Evolutionary changes occur in the process of natural selection irrespective of external fluxes of energy or any other external impacts on biological systems. External abiotic impacts carry but a negligible amount of information as compared to internal spontaneous changes of the huge amount of genetic information of the biota, that fully determine evolutionary process.to the top
Gorshkov V.G., Makarieva A.M.
According to the available paleodata, life has existed on Earth for the last 3.85 billion years. Independent paleoevidence testifies that during all this time the mean global surface temperature has been fluctuating between +10 and +20 degrees Celsius, i.e. within the temperature interval optimal for life. It is known that there are two physically stable states of the Earth's climate. These stable states are the state of complete glaciation of the Earth's surface with the mean global surface temperature of the order of -100 degrees Celsius and the state of complete evapor ation of the hydrosphere with temperature about +400 degrees Celsius. Both these states are unfit for life. Stable states correspond to minima of the potential (Liapunov) function. The two minima of the potential function (potential pits) which describe the two life-incompatible stable states can be joined in a continuous way only via a maximum (potential hill), which appears in the intermediate temperature interval corresponding to the liquid state of the Earth's hydrosphere. Location of this maximum can be determined by analysing dependence of the terrestrial greenhouse effect on atmospheric concentrations of water vapour and cloudiness. This dependence has been obtained by us by solving the diffusion equation describing propagation of thermal photons in the atmosphere. The observed temperature stability of the modern climate means that there exists a stable minimum of the potential function in the region corresponding to the liquid state of the Earth's hydrosphere. Absence of physical singularities that might have generated such a minimum, suggests that the nature of stability of the modern climate is non-physical. This implies existence of a certain controlling mechanism, for which the non-perturbed natural global biota of Earth is the only candidate.to the top
Gorshkov V.G., Makarieva A.M.
Energy of the short-wave solar radiation absorbed by the Earth's surface is converted into energy of long-wave equilibrium thermal radiation emitted into the atmosphere. In the atmosphere thermal photons are absorbed by greenhouse substances. The latter further emit thermal photons in arbitrary directions. The resulting 'random walk' of thermal photons in the atmosphere leads to the appearance of a vertical gradient of concentration and energy density of thermal photons, as well as of temperature of the air in thermal equilibrium with the greenhouse substances. The non-zero vertical gradient of ene rgy density of thermal photons causes diffusion of thermal photons in the atmosphere, which is described by conventional diffusion equation with diffusion coefficient equal to the free path of thermal photons multiplied by velocity of light. Non-radiative fluxes of heat in the form of air convection and latent heat of water vapour dissipate in the lower layers of the atmosphere. Their energy is transferred into the energy of excitation of molecules of greenhouse gases, which leads to additional emission of thermal photons enhancing the diffusion flux of thermal radiation. The observed constant lapse rate uniquely determines the ratio between energies of heat fluxes leaving the Earth's surface in the form of thermal radiation, convection and latent heat of water vapour. Here thermal radiation accounts for more than a half of the total heat flux at the Earth's surface.to the top