On the recognition of fundamental physical principles in recent atmospheric-environmental studies

Kramm, Gerhard
Dlugi, Ralph
Zelger, Michael
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In this paper, so-called alternative mass balance equations for atmospheric constituents published recently are assessed in comparison with the true local mass balance equations deduced from exact integral formulations. It is shown that these "alternative" expressions appreciably violate the physical law of the conservation of mass as expressed by the equation of continuity. It is also shown that terms of these "alternative" mass balance equations have different physical units, a clear indication that these "alternative" expressions are incorrect. Furthermore, it is argued that in the case of "alternative" mass balance equations a real basis for Monin-Obukhov similarity laws does not exist. These similarity laws are customarily used to determine the turbulent fluxes of momentum, sensible heat and matter in the so-called atmospheric surface layer over even terrain. Moreover, based on exact integral formulations a globally averaged mass balance equation for trace species is derived. It is applied to discuss the budget of carbon dioxide on the basis of the globally averaged natural and anthropogenic emissions and the globally averaged uptake caused by the terrestrial biosphere and the oceans.
Comment: 21 pages, 4 figures, presented on the workshop of the University of Alaska Fairbanks "2007 Dynamics of Complex Systems: Common Threads" held in Fairbanks, Alaska, July 25-27, 2007
Physics - Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics, Physics - Fluid Dynamics