Climate Science Glossary

Term Lookup

Enter a term in the search box to find its definition.

Settings

Use the controls in the far right panel to increase or decrease the number of terms automatically displayed (or to completely turn that feature off).

Term Lookup

Settings


All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

Home Arguments Software Resources Comments The Consensus Project Translations About Donate

Twitter Facebook YouTube Pinterest

RSS Posts RSS Comments Email Subscribe


Climate's changed before
It's the sun
It's not bad
There is no consensus
It's cooling
Models are unreliable
Temp record is unreliable
Animals and plants can adapt
It hasn't warmed since 1998
Antarctica is gaining ice
View All Arguments...



Username
Password
Keep me logged in
New? Register here
Forgot your password?

Latest Posts

Archives

Pin It

Nuccitelli et al 2012 Total Heat Content

Global warming is sometimes thought of as just an increase in the air temperature, and it is a recurring myth that global warming has magically stopped whenever there is a pause in the long-term trend of increasing air temperature.  However, heat is exchanged between all parts of the Earth System, and the oceans can hold vastly more heat than the air.  Global warming is actually the total accumulated heat in the whole Earth System that results from the imbalance between incoming solar energy and outgoing heat and reflected energy.  This figure from Nuccitelli et al. (2012) [PDF] shows the change in the total heat content of the Earth System since 1960 in terms of its major components:  the total land, atmosphere, and ice heating (red) from Church et al. (2011), and the ocean heating for the 0-700 meter layer (light blue) and the 700-2,000 meter layer (dark blue) from Levitus et al. (2012).  

More than 90% of global warming goes into heating the oceans, while less than 3% goes into heating the atmosphere.  Even relatively small exchanges of ocean heat with the atmosphere, as occurs during the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), can produce short-term fluctuations and pauses in the increasing air temperature.

Download the data used in this figure


SkS Resources that use this Graphic


Images

Printable Version | Back to Graphics by Skeptical Science


Creative Commons License Skeptical Science Graphics by Skeptical Science is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.skepticalscience.com.


The Consensus Project Website

TEXTBOOK

THE ESCALATOR

(free to republish)

THE DEBUNKING HANDBOOK

BOOK NOW AVAILABLE

The Scientific Guide to
Global Warming Skepticism

Smartphone Apps

iPhone
Android
Nokia

© Copyright 2014 John Cook
Home | Links | Translations | About Us | Contact Us