Articles | Volume 28, issue 3
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 28, 371–378, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-28-371-2021
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 28, 371–378, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-28-371-2021

Research article 04 Aug 2021

Research article | 04 Aug 2021

Empirical evidence of a fluctuation theorem for the wind mechanical power input into the ocean

Achim Wirth and Bertrand Chapron

Data sets

Global Total Surface and 15m Current (COPERNICUS-GLOBCURRENT) from Altimetric Geostrophic Current and Modeled Ekman Current Reprocessing H. Etienne https://resources.marine.copernicus.eu/?option=com_csw&view=details&product_id=MULTIOBS_GLO_PHY_REP_015_004

Global Ocean Wind L4 Reprocessed 6 hourly Observations A. Bentamy, J. F. Piollé, and C. Prevos https://resources.marine.copernicus.eu/?option=com_csw&view=details&product_id=WIND_GLO_WIND_ L4_REP_OBSERVATIONS_012_006

Short summary
In non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, which describes forced-dissipative systems such as air–sea interaction, there is no universal probability density function (pdf). Some such systems have recently been demonstrated to exhibit a symmetry called a fluctuation theorem (FT), which strongly constrains the shape of the pdf. Using satellite data, the mechanical power input to the ocean by air–sea interaction following or not a FT is questioned. A FT is found to apply over specific ocean regions.