Max Planck Society
Max Planck Institut for Biogeochemistry

Lee Miller

Contact Information
Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
Postfach 10 01 64
07701 Jena
Email: lmiller at
Tel: +49 (0)3641 57-6223

2011 - present: Postdoctoral researcher

Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry - Biospheric Theory and Modeling
Focus:Earth System view for renewable energy appropriation and climate dynamics

2008 - 2011: PhD candidate

Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry - Biospheric Theory and Modeling
Focus:Thermodynamic approach to renewable energy resources in the Earth System

2002 - 2008 : Pacific Northwest National Laboratory - Marine Sciences Lab
2000 - 2002 : University of Maryland - Geography, M.A.
1997 - 2000 : Mansfield University - Geography, B.S.

Research Interests
Lee's research is propelled by what he sees as an energy crisis in the near future. Integrating the holistic Earth system approach that is so common in Dr. Kleidon’s group, his recent work has added insight and practical application to the field of surface-based and jet stream wind power. Lee’s current work involves understanding the fundamental extraction limits and associated climatic consequences of various renewable energy resources. For inspiration, he often turns to the work of (alphabetical): Braden Allenby, R.B. Fuller, David Keith, Amory Lovins, Hans Rosling, Vaclav Smil, and Edward Tufte. In addition to his work addiction, he can sometimes be found mountain biking, dreaming of surfing and sailing, or enjoying time with his wife and son.


L.M Miller, N.A Brunsell, D.B Mechem, F Gans, A.J Monaghan, R Vautard, D.W Keith, A Kleidon Two methods for estimating limits to large-scale wind power generation Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. Paper | Supplement

L.M. Miller & A. Kleidon The importance to distinguish between kinetic energy flux and wind power potential: Interactive comment on “Characterization of wind power resource in the United States” by U. B. Gunturu and C. A. Schlosser Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 12, 7305-7364, 2012 Submitted comment

F. Gans, L.M. Miller, & A. Kleidon The problem of the second wind turbine – a note on a common but flawed wind power estimation method. Earth Syst. Dynam., 3, 79-86, 2012. doi:10.5194/esd-3-79-2012 Final Paper

L.M. Miller, F. Gans, & A. Kleidon; Corrigendum to "Jet stream wind power as a renewable energy resource: little power, big impacts" Earth Syst. Dynam., 2, 201–212, 2011. Earth Syst. Dynam. 3. 137. 2012. doi:10.5194/esd-3-137-2012 Figures with corrected units

L.M. Miller, F. Gans, & A. Kleidon; Jet stream wind power as a renewable energy resource: little power, big impacts. Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss. 2. 201-212. 2011. doi:10.5194/esd-2-201-2011 Final Paper

L.M. Miller, F. Gans, & A. Kleidon; Estimating maximum global land surface wind power extractability and associated climatic consequences. Earth Syst. Dynam. 2. 1-12. 2011. doi:10.5194/esd-2-1-2011 Final Paper

L Hibler, A Maxwell, L Miller, N Kohn, D Woodruff; Improved fine-scale transport model performance using AUV and HSI feedback in a tidally dominated system.. Journal of Geophysical Research. C. (Oceans) 113 no. C08036. doi:10.1029/2008JC004739

K Steinmaus, J Bowles, D Woodruff, T Donato, WJ Rhea, W Snyder, D Korwan, L Miller, G Petrie, A Maxwell, L Hibler; Evolution of a Man-Made Plume in Coastal Waters. 2006. EOS 87(51):581-592

A Borde, R Thom, S Rumrill, L Miller; Geospatial Habitat Change Analysis in Coastal Estuaries. 2003. Estuaries 26(4):1104-1117

S Goward, P Davis, D Fleming, L Miller, J Townshend; Empirical Comparison of Landsat 7 and Ikonos Multispectral Measurements. 2003. Remote Sensing of Environment. 88(1-3):80-99

Recent Presentations
Miller L, Gans F, Kleidon A; A new estimate of Germany’s wind energy potential which includes the effect of turbines on the flow 2013. 2nd International Conference on Energy & Meteorology.

Kleidon A, Miller L, Gans F, Brunsell N; Physical limits of solar renewable energy at the Earth’s surface 2013. 2nd International Conference on Energy & Meteorology.

Miller L, Gans F, Kleidon A; Assessing the theoretical potentials of global solar and wind energy from climate reanalysis 2013. European Geosciences Union abstract

Miller L; Limits and research opportunities of a renewable energy future 2013. Friedrich-Schiller-Universität.

Miller, L Thermodynamic limits to renewable energy sources 19, Feb. 2013. Invited block lecture at U of Hamburg School of Integrated Climate System Sciences (SICSS).

Miller, L Limits and consequences of large-scale deployment of renewable energy technologies 2012. Invited colloquium at the University of Kansas Geography Dept.

Miller L, Gans F, Pavlick R, Kleidon A; Solar and wind energy extraction within the Earth System: How are they related but different regarding power potentials and climate impacts? 2011. American Geophysical Union

Miller L; Renewable energy from the perspective of Earth System Dynamics. 2011. Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy

Miller L; Solar and wind energy: same but different — why these differences matter for power potentials and climate impacts? 2011. International Max Planck Research School Retreat.

Miller L, Kleidon A; Solar, wind, and waves: natural limits to renewable sources of energy within the Earth System. 2011. Limits to the Anthropocene Conference. Hamburg, Germany.

Miller L, Brunsell N, Carvalhais N, Jung M, Reichstein M, Momentum flux over land -- a FluxNet, Reanalysis, GCM perspective. 2011. Max Planck Institute Colloquim Series.

N Brunsell, L Miller, A Kleidon; Influence of dissipation on the spatial structure of the atmospheric boundary layer. 2011. European Geophysical Union.

L Miller, F Gans, A Kleidon; Using thermodynamics to estimate large-scale wind power extractability. 2010. Maximum Entropy Production and Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics in the Earth System.

L Miller, F Gans, A Kleidon; Estimating maximum global land surface wind power potential and associated climatic consequences. 2010. European Geophysical Union.

L Miller, F Gans, A Kleidon; Estimating maximum global land surface wind power potential. 2010. International Max Planck Research for Earth System Modeling Review.

A Kleidon, L Miller, F Gans; Thermodynamic limits to renewable sources of free energy. 2010. Potsdam Institute of Climate - Colloquium.

M Jones, L Miller, D Woodruff, D Ewert; Mapping of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation using Autonomous Underwater Vehicles in Nearshore Regions. 2007. IEEE Oceans 2007.

P Doucette, D Woodruff, J Tagestad, L Miller, G Petrie, N Kohn, T Donato, J Bowles, W Rhea; Hyperspectral Remote Sensing Analysis of Nearshore Waters in Sequim Bay, Washington. 2006. Ocean Optics 2006.

L Hibler, A Maxwell, L Miller; Circulation and Transport Modeling with Delft-Flow: Dye Release into Sequim Bay, WA. 2006. Office of Naval Research / DELFT 2006 Workshop.

L Miller, D Woodruff, G Petrie, P Doucette, J Tagestad, K Steinmaus, J Bowles, T Donato, WJ Rhea; Hyperspectral Image Analysis of an Experimental Plume Release in Puget Sound. 2006. American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Conference.

A Maxwell, L Hibler, L Miller; 3-D Modeling of a Nearshore Dye Release. 2006. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.

K Sobocinski, L Miller, A Borde; The Use of High-Resolution Imagery in the Tidal Freshwater Reach of the Columbia River. 2006. Pacific Estuarine Research Society Meeting.

L Miller, D Woodruff, S Southard; Landsat Spectral Unmixing and Surface Runoff Modeling for Impervious Surface Analysis. 2005. Remote Sensing Applications Center Meeting.

Media coverage
Near-surface based wind power

Jet stream wind power

On my bookshelf - I love good books - here are a select few that I recommend

Physics of climate - Peixoto and Oort; this book certainly does not collect any dust and is starting to show some definite wear

Presentation zen - Garr Reynolds; super book on how to simplify talks for a clear concise message and get away from the normal presentations we are all bored with

The visual display of quantitative information - Edward Tufte; regarded as the bible of displaying information, I've attended his workshop and he certainly knows what he is talking about although I use the book more for visual reference than trying to do everything he suggests

Utopia or oblivion - Buckminster Fuller; he is a bit long-winded but he certainly has a lot to say and I'm fascinated to read it again and again

Reconstructing Earth - Technology and Environment in the Age of Humans - Braden Allenby; he shares his somewhat unique view of the recent and future Earth, encompassing several of my thoughts and interjecting a few others for good measure!

Natural capitalism - P. Hawken, A Lovins, H Lovins; I'm a HUGE fan of Amory Lovins and ignoring what he has to say about biofuels - I think his vision is fascinating, I keep a copy of his recent annual report on hand for inspiration - here is the link

On writing - Stephen King; I use this book for inspiration when I'm having trouble writing - the idea that he had a hard time too makes things more bearable for a little person like me

Atlas of remote islands - Judith Schalansky; hand drawn maps of the islands with an adjacent one-page description on the insider view of what really happens there --- great for a simple but creative escape from a mind-overwhelming moment or 3

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