Thermodynamics and civilization: From ancient rivers to fossil fuel energy servants

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Civilization can be at least partially determined by climatic constraints upon net primary productivity and heat dissipation from the human body (Kleidon 2009). I discuss how these "metabolic" limitations were historically overcome: first, because large rivers in dry regions provided water to ancient civilizations; second, because fossil fuel energy servants working externally to muscle-limited bodies have produced economic well-being in a number of world areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-438
Number of pages6
JournalClimatic Change
Volume95
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Atmospheric Science

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