The Dictionary of the Climate Debate (DCD)


planetary imbalance
Definition: The amount of excess energy a planet — usually the Earth — is currently absorbing.

Notes:
1. Click here to read a Real Climate discussion of a Hansen paper that calculates the planetary imbalance.

2. To read the paper itself, click here. Here's an excerpt from the abstract:

"Our climate model, driven mainly by increasing human-made greenhouse gases and aerosols, among other forcings, calculates that Earth is now absorbing 0.85 T 0.15 watts per square meter more energy from the Sun than it is emitting to space." [This is the imbalance.]

3. Click here to read the press release that accompanied the paper. Here's an excerpt:

"Not only is Earth absorbing about 0.85 Watts of energy per square meter more than it is radiating back to space, but a sizable chunk of that excess energy is "hiding" in Earth's oceans, its full effect on the climate system still unrealized." [To find out where it's hiding, see missing heat.]


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