Earth has been trapping heat at an alarming new rate

The amount of heat trapped by Earth’s land, ocean, and atmosphere doubled over the course of just 14 years, a new study shows…

“The two very independent ways of looking at changes in Earth’s energy imbalance are in really, really good agreement, and they’re both showing this very large trend, which gives us a lot of confidence that what we’re seeing is a real phenomenon and not just an instrumental artifact,” said Norman Loeb, a NASA researcher and the lead author for the study in a press release. “The trends we found were quite alarming in a sense.”…

Fourteen years isn’t a long time compared to Earth’s long climate history — researchers will have to keep gathering data to get more information about how this fits into the complete picture of the planet’s energy imbalance.

Of course, if this incomplete science proves inadequate, incorrect…we’re screwed!

14 thoughts on “Earth has been trapping heat at an alarming new rate

  1. Scientific method says:

    “U.N. climate panel confronts implausibly hot forecasts of future warming” (7/27/21) (see details: RTFA)
    “…Many of the world’s leading models are now projecting warming rates that most scientists, including the modelmakers themselves, believe are implausibly fast. In advance of the U.N. report, scientists have scrambled to understand what went wrong and how to turn the models, which in other respects are more powerful and trustworthy than their predecessors, into useful guidance for policymakers. “It’s become clear over the last year or so that we can’t avoid this,” says Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
    …For now, policymakers and other researchers need to avoid putting too much stock in the unconstrained extreme warming the latest models [link] predict, says Claudia Tebaldi, a climate scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and one of the leaders of CMIP’s climate projections. Getting that message out will be a challenge. “These issues don’t translate very well in practice,” she says. “It’s going to be hard for people looking to make some projection of a water basin in the West to make sense of it.”
    Already scientific papers are appearing using CMIP’s unconstrained worst-case scenarios for 2100, adding fire to what are already well-justified fears. But that practice needs to change, Schmidt says. “You end up with numbers for even the near-term that are insanely scary—and wrong.”

  2. Cassandra says:

    “In heat emergency, southern Europe scrambles for resources”
    Dann Mitchell, a professor of climate science at the University of Bristol, said the heat wave in southeast Europe “is not at all unexpected, and very likely enhanced due to human-induced climate change.”
    “The number of extreme heat events around the world is increasing year on year, with the top 10 hottest years on record all occurring since 2005,” Mitchell told The Associated Press.
    “This year, we have seen a number of significant events, including a particularly dramatic heat wave in western Canada and the U.S., that was extreme even for current levels of climate change,” Mitchell said. “These black swan events have always happened, but now they sit on the background of a hotter climate, so are even more deadly.”

  3. A/C says:

    Note: conventional mechanical air conditioning accounts for a fifth of total electricity consumption globally

    “The city of Yazd in the desert of central Iran has long been a focal point for creative ingenuity. Yazd is home to a system of ancient engineering marvels that include an underground refrigeration structure called yakhchāl, an underground irrigation system called qanats, and even a network of couriers called pirradaziš that predate postal services in the US by more than 2,000 years. [see links]
    Among Yazd’s ancient technologies is the wind catcher, or bâdgir in Persian. These remarkable structures are a common sight soaring above the rooftops of Yazd. They are often rectangular towers, but they also appear in circular, square, octagonal and other ornate shapes.
    As a wind catcher requires no electricity to power it, it is both a cost-efficient and green form of cooling. With conventional mechanical air conditioning already accounting for a fifth of total electricity consumption globally, ancient alternatives like the wind catcher are becoming an increasingly appealing option.”

  4. Dirge says:

    Earth sizzled in July and became the hottest month in 142 years of record keeping, United States weather officials have announced.
    “In this case, first place is the worst place to be,” NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said in a press release. “This new record adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe.”
    One factor helping the world bake this summer is a natural weather cycle called the Arctic Oscillation, sort of a cousin to El Nino, which in its positive phase is associated with more warming, the NOAA climatologist said.

    Re: The Arctic oscillation or Northern Annular Mode/Northern Hemisphere Annular Mode see

  5. p/s says:

    More than half of the planet’s ocean surface has surpassed historical heat extreme thresholds on a regular basis since 2014, a new study has found.
    The study, published in PLOS Climate, concluded that such excessive ocean temperatures, fueled by climate change, have now become the “new normal.” These heat extremes are threatening crucial marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, seagrass meadows and kelp forests — by altering their structure and function, while jeopardizing their ability to provide sustenance to human communities, according to the authors.
    “Climate change is not a future event,” Kyle Van Houtan, who headed the research team during his tenure as chief scientist for Monterey Bay Aquarium, said in a statement.
    “The reality is that it’s been affecting us for a while,” he added. “Our research shows that for the last seven years more than half of the ocean has experienced extreme heat.”

  6. शकुन says:

    India isn’t ready for a deadly combination of heat and humidity : Recent heat wave has seen “wet-bulb” temperatures rise to potentially fatal levels
    During India’s 2015 heat wave, wet-bulb temperatures in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh rose to 32° Celsius. That year, the heat killed over 2,500 people.

    Such events are going to become increasingly common as climate change warms the world. What magnifies the problem is that as temperatures rise, so does the absolute humidity in the atmosphere, says Jane Baldwin, assistant professor in the Department of Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine. Thanks to what’s known as the Clausius–Clapeyron relationship of thermodynamics, “for every 1° increase in temperature, you see a 7 percent increase in humidity,” she explains. It means that for countries like India, climate change has a compounding impact. The effect is strongest over the world’s oceans, and particularly the Indian Ocean, whose rapid warming is a big trigger of South Asia’s high wet-bulb temperatures.

  7. Cassandra says:

    Last year was Europe’s hottest summer on record, according to the European climate change monitoring service Copernicus.
    In just more than 20 years, the continent has experienced its five hottest summers since 1500.
    A European Union study of 16 nations puts the number of excess deaths across the bloc during the 2003 heatwave as high as 70,000, with France and Italy each seeing between 15,000 and 20,000 fatalities, according to various reports since.
    Jun 17, 2022: A punishing heatwave has broken a string of records in France and the UK, as parts of Italy suffer drought and Spain battles to contain forest fires that have forced hundreds from their homes.

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