Earth’s energy imbalance eliminates almost all doubts about man-made climate change

Earth's energy imbalance eliminates almost all doubts about man-made climate change

The Earth’s energy system has been out of control for decades.

The stability of the Earth’s climate depends on the delicate equilibrium between the amount of energy the planet absorbs from the Sun and the amount of energy emitted by the Earth back into space. However, in recent years, this imbalance has worsened – the imbalance has been on the rise, according to a document published Wednesday in The Official Journal. Nature Communications Magazine.

Changes in the Earth’s energy system have a profound effect on the planet’s climate and on human understanding of climate change. Researchers at Princeton University found it at the heart of the study The probability of change occurring naturally is less than 1%.

These findings undermine the main argument used by people who do not believe that most climate change is caused by human activity, to explain global warming trends that show that the Earth’s energy and energy imbalances alone cannot explain the Earth’s natural changes.

The study provides important insights into how greenhouse gas emissions and other man-made effects of climate change affect the planet’s equilibrium, including global warming, sea level rise, and extreme weather conditions.

“As more and more changes take place on this planet, we are creating this imbalance when there is more energy in the system,” said Shiv Priyam Raghurman, a graduate student in atmospheric and marine science at Princeton University and a leading author of the study. . “Most of these appear as various symptoms.”

Carbon dioxide emissions, Methane Other greenhouse gases produced by human activities capture heat in the atmosphere, meaning that the planet normally absorbs infrared radiation that is transmitted into space. Melting sea ice, changing cloud cover, and variations in the density of small atmospheric particles called aerosols that affect climate change also mean that the Earth reflects less sunlight into the universe.

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“There is no equilibrium between the energy coming from the sun and the energy coming out,” Raghurman said. “The question is: are there natural differences between the planets or are we?”

From 2001 to 2020, researchers used satellite observations to determine if the Earth’s energy imbalance was growing. They used a series of climate models to simulate the effects of the Earth’s energy system on man – made changes in climate change.

Scientists have found that natural fluctuations alone cannot explain the trend that has been observed for 20 years.

“Earth fluctuations and changes have caused such a huge increase in imbalances – less than one percent – that it was almost impossible,” Raghurman said.

The study focused on causes and effects, but Raghurman said the findings have social and political significance.

The oceans store about 90 percent of the planet’s excess heat, causing sea levels to rise and leading to hurricanes and other extreme weather conditions. The rest of the heat is absorbed by the atmosphere and the earth, which raises the surface temperature of the earth and promotes the melting of ice and snow.

Norman Lab, a physicist at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, said that if the Earth’s energy imbalance continues to increase, the effect already experienced today could be even worse.

“We see temperatures rising and sea levels rising and ice and ice melting,” Lebes said. “Everything you see in the news – WildfireDrought – They get worse as you add more heat. “

The labs led a joint study by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that found that the Earth’s energy and energy imbalance nearly doubled between 2005 and 2019. This article was published last month Journal of Geophysical Research Letters.

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Lab said the Princeton study confirms what he has shown in his own study, which uses 14 years of observations from satellite sensors and a range of instruments in the ocean. He added that human activities, or so-called anthropogenic influences, have an undeniable effect, but some differences in nature may play a role. For example, the fluctuations of some planets may be cyclical for several decades, making it difficult to accurately predict climate change.

He said: “Human influence certainly exists, but the ocean plays an important role in the climate, and it operates very slowly. You really want to achieve such measurements in 50 years or more.”

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