Plenary Lecture

Feedback Control of Simple Model Systems of Climate Dynamics

Professor Ramesh K. Agarwal
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
Washington University in St. Louis

Abstract: Over the years, there has been considerable effort in developing climate models that can predict the future climate of the globe with reasonable confidence. These models account for various physical phenomenon which can affect the future climate. One of the key goals of these models is to predict the mean global surface temperature of the earth because of considerable concern about global warming and its impact on the earth ecosphere. The prediction of global warming by using climate models requires coupling of several effects over many spatial and temporal time scales, namely the modeling of fast atmospheric circulation on a daily or weekly time scale to slow large scale oceanic circulation on time scales of centuries to millennia. The global warming is also influenced by the feedback mechanisms that include water vapor concentration and cloud feedback, desertification, variations in polar ice-cap and anthropogenic CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases. Accounting for all these effects in great detail has led to very complex computer models of climate prediction. In this paper, we consider a very simple climate model governed by two ordinary non-linear differential equations, one for the earth surface temperature and the other for atmospheric temperature. The models accounts for most of the important physical effects. It is an energy balance model and not a global circulation model. The goal of this paper is to formulate and employ an optimal feedback control strategy using this simple climate model that can provide an emission scenario for CO2 which will restrict the global surface temperature to a specified increase (say of 2 degrees) by a given target year (say 2050). This result can then be used by the policy makers to develop strategies for reducing the CO2 emissions to the levels suggested by the model; these strategies could include switching to renewable energy sources, CO2 capture and sequestration (CCS), and energy efficiency among others.

Brief Biography of the Speaker: Professor Ramesh Agarwal is the William Palm Professor of Engineering and the director of Aerospace Engineering Program and Aerospace Research and Education Center at Washington University in St. Louis. From 1994 to 2001, he was the Sam Bloomfield Distinguished Professor and Executive Director of the National Institute for Aviation Research at Wichita State University in Kansas. From 1978 to 1994, he worked in various scientific and managerial positions at McDonnell Douglas Research Laboratories in St. Louis. He became the Program Director and McDonnell Douglas Fellow in 1990. Dr. Agarwal received Ph.D in Aeronautical Sciences from Stanford University in 1975, M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1969 and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India in 1968. Over a period of 35 years, Professor Agarwal has worked in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), nanotechnology and renewable energy systems. He is the author and coauthor of over 300 publications and serves on the editorial board of fifteen journals. He has given many plenary, keynote and invited lectures at various national and international conferences worldwide. Professor Agarwal continues to serve on many professional, government, and industrial advisory committees. Dr. Agarwal is a Fellow of seventeen societies - American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), American Physical Society (APS), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), American Academy of Mechanics (AAM), Institute of Physics, Energy Institute, Institute of Engineering and Technology, Academy of Science of St. Louis, Australian Institute of energetic Materials, and World Innovation Foundation (WIF). He has served as a distinguished lecturer of AIAA (1996-1999), ASME (1994-1997), IEEE (1994-2011), and ACM (2011). He has received many honors and awards for his research contributions including the ASME Fluids Engineering Award (2001), ASME Charles Russ Richards Memorial Award (2006), Royal Aeronautical Society Gold Award (2007), AIAA Aerodynamics Award (2008), AIAA/SAE William Littlewood Lecture Award (2009), James B. Eads Award of the Academy of Science of St. Louis (2009), SAE Clarence Kelly Johnson Award (2010), SAE Franklin W. Kolk Progress in Air Transportation Award (2010), ASME Edwin Church Medal (2011), AIAA Thermophysics Award (2011), SAE John Connors Environmental Award (2011), ASME Dedicated Service Award (2012), IET Heaviside Control Award (2012)