Some consequences of non-proportionality between fluxes and reservoir contents in natural systems

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Rodhe, Henning ; Björkström, Anders (2011)

We study the effect on simple reservoir systems of non-proportionality between fluxes and reservoir contents. In particular, we assume that the flux F out of a reservoir is related to the reservoir content M by F/F0 = (M/M0) ?, where ? may be greater than, equal to or less than one. It is demonstrated that adjustment rates and equilibrium distributions are critically dependent upon the value of the parameter ?. A simple model of the global carbon cycle is used as an illustration. We show among other things that, because of non-proportionalities in the fluxes between the ocean surface layer, the atmosphere and the terrestrial system, the decay time of a man-made carbon emission into the atmosphere is much longer than the turn-over time with respect to exchange with the deep ocean layers.DOI: 10.1111/j.2153-3490.1979.tb00905.x
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