Earth's heat imbalance causes warming to accelerate from 2005 to 2019

According to recent news from The Washington Post, according to a new study by researchers from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), between 2005 and 2019, the earth’s heat was imbalanced and "trapped" The amount of heat has roughly doubled, causing the ocean, air, and land to warm more rapidly. Related research was published in the recent "Geophysical Research Letters".

The existence of life on earth depends on a delicate balance: sunlight enters the earth’s atmosphere and warms the earth; at the same time, part of the sunlight is reflected back to space to ensure that the earth does not overheat. But as humans emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the energy of the earth has become unbalanced. This imbalance is "the most basic indicator that defines the state of global climate change." Everything else about global climate change, including global warming, is a "symptom" of a mismatch between energy input and output.

Using satellite data, the researchers measured the energy imbalance of the earth, which is the difference between the energy absorbed by the earth and the energy radiated back into space. The energy absorbed by the earth from the sun is approximately 240 watts per square meter. At the beginning of the study, that is, in 2005, the energy released by the earth was 239.5 watts per square meter, resulting in a positive imbalance of about 0.5 watts; by the end of 2019, this gap had almost doubled to about 1 watt per square meter. If there is a positive imbalance, it means that the earth absorbs more heat than it loses-this is the first step towards global warming. Among them, the ocean absorbs most of the heat, accounting for about 90%.

The lead author of the research paper and NASA climate scientist Norman Loeb said that the magnitude of the increase in heat has been unprecedented and that the earth is warming faster than expected.

One of the paper’s co-authors and NOAA oceanographer Gregory Johnson said: “The increased energy is equivalent to the use of 20 electric tea kettles for everyone on the planet at the same time.”

Studies have pointed out that the reduction of clouds and sea ice that reflect solar energy back into space, and the increase in human emissions of greenhouse gases (such as methane and carbon dioxide) and water vapor (capture more heat on the earth) are all contributing factors to this imbalance. But the researchers said that it is difficult to distinguish human-induced changes from the cyclical changes in climate, and further research is needed to determine these factors.

The study period overlaps with climate fluctuations, and climate fluctuations may also play an important role in the acceleration process, including a strong El Niño event that caused unusually warm sea water from 2014 to 2016. The Pacific Interdecadal Oscillation is a relatively long-term El Niño-like fluctuation that also changed from a "cold" stage to a "warm" stage around 2014.

Source: Science and Technology Daily

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