Heat stored in the Earth system 1960–2020: where does the energy go?
17 April 2023
Earth System Science Data, a prominent open-access journal of Copernicus Publications, announces with pleasure the second version of Heat stored in the Earth system 1960–2020: where does the energy go? As our "out-of-balance" Earth accumulates more energy than it loses, this international, multidisciplinary effort addresses the questions of by how much and where. These researchers (nearly 70 from dozens of institutes across 15 countries) use carefully calibrated, cross-checked, and well-documented data from the ocean, land, ice, and atmosphere to conclude the following:
- Earth has accumulated nearly 0.5 W (0.48 + 0.1 W) over every square meter of its surface over the past 50 years (since 1971).
- More recently (2006 to 2020), heating increased to more than 0.75 W (0.76 + 0.2 W) m–2.
- Most heat entered the ocean (89 %).
- Remaining heat went into land (6 %), ice (4 %), and the atmosphere (1 %).
- Assessment of energy gained and disbursed represents a fundamental metric of changing global climate with implications for the ocean, land, ice, and atmosphere.
- Efforts such as these require sustained international cooperation on monitoring and research.
The authors describe data, data sources, compilations, and analyses in their most recent ESSD article. Interested readers can find all data and follow all steps, freely and without restriction, via ESSD and the included links.
Contact: Karina von Schuckmann (firstname.lastname@example.org)