NASA-led research has raised the alarm about human-caused climate change, showing that the amount of heat trapped in the land, oceans and atmosphere has doubled in just 14 years.
Scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States found that Earth’s energy imbalance nearly doubled over the 14-year period from 2005 to 2019.
To reach this conclusion, the scientists compared data from two independent measurements – NASA’s Cloud and Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) and data from a global series of ocean buoys called the Argo which allows an accurate estimate of the rate of global warming of the oceans. above.
“The two very independent ways of looking at changes in energy imbalances on Earth are really identical, and they both show this very large trend, which gives us a lot of confidence that what we’re seeing is a real phenomenon,” said lead author Norman. Loeb and CERES Principal Investigator at NASA. And it’s not just a handy tool.”
“The trends we found were somewhat worrisome,” he said in a study published in Geophysical Research Letters.
Increased emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane from human activity trap heat in the atmosphere and trap outgoing radiation that can seep into space.
Warming leads to other changes, such as melting ice and snow, increased water vapor, and cloud changes that can increase temperatures.
The results showed that “the Earth’s energy imbalance is the net effect of all these factors.”
The study found that the doubling of the imbalance is partly caused by increases in greenhouse gases due to human activity, also known as human influence, along with increases in water vapor, which traps more outgoing long-wave radiation, contributing more to the energy. Earth imbalance. .
In addition, the associated decrease in clouds and sea ice leads to an increase in the absorption of solar energy.
“It’s likely a combination of human influence and internal diversity, and during this time, both cause the temperature to rise, dramatically altering the energy imbalance on Earth. The scale of the unprecedented increase,” Loeb warned.
Unless the rate of heat absorption decreases, greater climate changes should be expected than what is actually happening.
“Observing the magnitude and variations of this energy imbalance is vital to understanding Earth’s changing climate,” said Gregory Johnson, a physical oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
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