Earth's Energy Imbalance: Confirmation and Implications

  title={Earth's Energy Imbalance: Confirmation and Implications},
  author={James E. Hansen and Larissa S. Nazarenko and Reto Ruedy and Makiko Sato and Josh K. Willis and Anthony D. Del Genio and Dorothy M. Koch and Andrew A. Lacis and Ken K. Lo and Surabi Menon and Tica Novakov and Judith Perlwitz and Gary L. Russell and Gavin A. Schmidt and Nicholas Tausnev},
  pages={1431 - 1435}
Our climate model, driven mainly by increasing human-made greenhouse gases and aerosols, among other forcings, calculates that Earth is now absorbing 0.85 ± 0.15 watts per square meter more energy from the Sun than it is emitting to space. This imbalance is confirmed by precise measurements of increasing ocean heat content over the past 10 years. Implications include (i) the expectation of additional global warming of about 0.6°C without further change of atmospheric composition; (ii) the… 
Ocean Circulations, Heat Budgets, and Future Commitment to Climate Change
Earth's surface will continue to warm for decades, and the sea level to rise for centuries, even if the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is held fixed at current levels. This is
Earth's energy imbalance and implications
Abstract. Improving observations of ocean heat content show that Earth is absorbing more energy from the Sun than it is radiating to space as heat, even during the recent solar minimum. The inferred
Over the past century global average temperature has increased by about 0.8 °C. Any substantial change in the Earth's temperature must be the result of a perturbation, or so-called radiative forcing,
A Null Hypothesis for CO2
Energy transfer at the Earth's surface is examined from first principles. The effects on surface temperature of small changes in the solar constant caused by the sunspot cycle and small increases in
Anthropogenic forcing and response yield observed positive trend in Earth’s energy imbalance
The satellite record provides clear evidence of a human-influenced climate system, driven by a large decrease in reflected solar radiation and a small increase in emitted infrared radiation.
Heat stored in the Earth system: where does the energy go?
Abstract. Human-induced atmospheric composition changes cause a radiative imbalance at the top of the atmosphere which is driving global warming. This Earth energy imbalance (EEI) is the most
Understanding Recent Climate Change
  • M. Serreze
  • Environmental Science
    Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology
  • 2010
The Earth's atmosphere has a natural greenhouse effect, without which the global mean surface temperature would be about 33 degrees C lower and life would not be possible and continued surface warming through the 21st century is inevitable and will likely have widespread ecological impacts.
Climate sensitivity in the Anthropocene
Abstract. Understanding the sensitivity of Earth's climate to an imposed external forcing is one of the great challenges in science and a critical component of efforts to avoid dangerous
Climate change and trace gases
Only intense simultaneous efforts to slow CO2 emissions and reduce non-CO2 forcings can keep climate within or near the range of the past million years.


Anthropogenic Warming of Earth's Climate System
It is suggested that the observed increase in ocean heat content may largely be due to the increase of anthropogenic gases in Earth's atmosphere.
Committed warming and its implications for climate change
Time lags between changes in radiative forcing and the resulting simulated climate responses are investigated in a set of transient climate change experiments. Both surface air temperature (SAT) and
Detection of Anthropogenic Climate Change in the World's Oceans
Application of optimal detection methodology shows that the model-produced signals are indistinguishable from the observations at the 0.05 confidence level, which suggests that the observed ocean heat-content changes are consistent with those expected from anthropogenic forcing, which broadens the basis for claims that an anthropogenic signal has been detected in the global climate system.
Climate Response Times: Dependence on Climate Sensitivity and Ocean Mixing
If equilibrium climate sensitivity is 3�C or greater for a doubling of the carbon dioxide concentration, then most of the expected warming attributable to trace gases added to the atmosphere by man probably has not yet occurred and calls into question a policy of "wait and see" regarding the issue of how to deal with increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide and other trace gases.
Deriving global climate sensitivity from palaeoclimate reconstructions
To assess the future impact of anthropogenic greenhouse gases on global climate, we need a reliable estimate of the sensitivity of the Earth's climate to changes in radiative forcing. Climate
Climate change 2001 : the scientific basis
Summary for policymakers Technical summary 1. The climate system - an overview 2. Observed climate variability and change 3. The carbon cycle and atmospheric CO2 4. Atmospheric chemistry and
Analytical solution for the effect of increasing CO2 on global mean temperature
Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is expected to cause substantial changes in climate1. Recent model studies suggest that the equilibrium warming for a CO2 doubling (Δ T2×) is about
Twentieth century sea level: An enigma
  • W. Munk
  • Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2002
Among possible resolutions of the enigma are: a substantial reduction from traditional estimates of 1.5–2 mm/y global sea level rise; a substantial increase in the estimates of 20th century ocean heat storage; and a substantial change in the interpretation of the astronomic record.
The role of deep sea heat storage in the secular response to climatic forcing
The influence of the world oceans on climatic response is considered here with emphasis on the heat transferred to waters beneath the well-mixed surface layer and to polar bottom water forming zones.