Can we Use Energy Based Indicators to Characterize and Measure the Status of Ecosystems, Human, Disturbed and Natural? | 2001

Discovered a description of Eric D. Schneider and James J. Kay (1994), in a 2001 article written in the author’s style of Timothy F.H. Allen, for The Second Biennial International Workshop, Advances in Energy Studies, Exploring Supplies, Constraints, and Strategies, Porto Venere, Italy, 23-27 May 2000 .

Kay and Schneider take a recent interpretation of the second law of thermodynamics and extend it into nonequilibrium regions. For such nonequilibrium circumstances the second law is no longer just the simple statement that entropy increases or that processes are irreversible. Rather the thermodynamic principle is that as systems are moved away from equilibrium by externally applied gradients (temperature difference, pressure difference, etc.), they will utilize the means available to them to dissipate the applied gradients. Furthermore as the applied gradients increase, so does the system’s resistance to being moved away from equilibrium. Simply put, systems have a propensity to resist being moved from equilibrium and a have a tendency to return to the equilibrium state when moved from it. This is can be related to the development of interconnections in ecosystems, as they receive and process energy from the sun. Ulanowicz has developed a series of hypotheses about how these networks of interconnections develop over time.

Ecosystems can be viewed as the biotic, physical, and chemical components of nature acting together as nonequilibrium self-organizing dissipative systems . As ecosystems develop or mature they should develop more complex structures and processes with greater diversity, more cycling and more hierarchical levels all to abet exergy degradation. Species which survive in ecosystems are those that funnel energy into their own production and reproduction and contribute to autocatalytic processes which increase the total exergy degradation of the ecosystem. In short, ecosystems develop in a way which systematically increases their ability to degrade the incoming solar exergy [Kay and Schneider 1992; Kay 1984; Schneider and Kay 1994b; Schneider and Kay 1994b].

In the footnote of the first page of the article:

Written as an introduction to the Workshop panel session on “Energy and Environmental Constraints”, chaired by J.J. Kay (University of Waterloo. Canada). Panelists were: Tim Allen (University of Wisconsin, USA). Roydon Fraser (University of Waterloo, Canada), Jeffrey C. Luvall (NASA’s Global Hydrology and Climate Cenler, USA), and Robert E. Ulanowicz (University of Maryland, USA).

References

Kay, James, Timothy F. H. Allen, Roydon Fraser, Jeffrey Luvall, and Robert Ulanowicz. 2001. “Can We Use Energy Based Indicators to Characterize and Measure the Status of Ecosystems, Human, Disturbed and Natural?” In Advances in Energy Studies: Exploring Supplies, Constraints and Strategies, edited by S. Ulgiati, M.T. Brown, M. Giampietro, R.A. Herendeen, and K. Mayumi, 121–33. Padova: SGEditoriali. Accessed at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/292605337_Can_we_Use_Energy_Based_Indicators_to_Characterize_and_Measure_the_Status_of_Ecosystems_Human_Disturbed_and_Natural

Schneider, E. D., and J. J. Kay. 1994. “Life as a Manifestation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.” Mathematical and Computer Modelling 19 (6): 25–48. https://doi.org/10.1016/0895-7177(94)90188-0 .

Kay, James, Timothy F. H. Allen, Roydon Fraser, Jeffrey Luvall, and Robert Ulanowicz. 2001. “Can We Use Energy Based Indicators to Characterize and Measure the Status of Ecosystems, Human, Disturbed and Natural?” In Advances in Energy Studies: Exploring Supplies, Constraints and Strategies, edited by S. Ulgiati, M.T. Brown, M. Giampietro, R.A. Herendeen, and K. Mayumi, 121–33. Padova: SGEditoriali.
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#entropy, #nonequilibrium, #second-law, #thermodynamics