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The Earth is trapping an “unprecedented” amount of heat from climate change

A new study shows the Earth is trapping nearly twice as much as it was in 2005, calling it an “unprecedented” rush amid the climate crisis.

Scientists from NASA, the US Space Agency and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration In a new study, NOAA reports that Earth’s energy imbalance nearly doubled from 2005 to 2019. It called the increase “alarming.”

An “energy imbalance” refers to the difference between the amount of “radiant energy” from the Sun absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere and surface compared to the amount of “thermal infrared” that bounces back into space.

NASA: “A positive energy imbalance means the Earth system is gaining energy, which is causing the planet to warm.” He said In a statement about this study.

Scientists identified the energy imbalance by comparing data from satellite sensors — which track the amount of energy entering and leaving the Earth’s system — and data from marine buoys.

The data-collecting buoy system, which stretches across the globe, enables an “accurate estimate of the rate of warming in the world’s oceans”.

Since about 90% of the excess energy from the imbalance diffuses into the ocean, data from satellite sensors must correspond to changes in ocean temperatures.

“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 that gives us a lot of confidence that what we’re seeing is a real phenomenon,” said Norman Loeb. Lead author of the study and NASA researcher.

“The trends we found were a bit worrisome.”

cliffs in greenhouse gas emissions They keep heat in the Earth’s atmosphere and trap radiation that would otherwise have traveled to space. these heater Stimulates other changes, including melting ice and snow. Increased water vapor and changes in clouds could add to this warming, NASA said.

The study found that this multiplier was caused in part by an increase in greenhouse gases and water vapor, and a decrease in clouds and ice.

The researchers also said that the ‘natural’ shift in the Pacific Ocean from a cold phase to a warm phase may have played an important role in amplifying this energy imbalance.

“It’s probably a combination of human influence and endogenous diversity,” Loeb said. “During this time, both lead to a rise in temperature, which creates a significant change in the energy imbalance on Earth. The magnitude of the increase is unprecedented.”

However, Loeb said this research only provides insights into long-term climate change, and according to NASA, “can’t predict with any certainty what the coming decades might look like for Earth’s energy balance sheet.”

The study found that larger climate changes could be expected if the rate of heat absorption did not slow.

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