Ocean heat content and Earth’s radiation imbalance

Physics Letters A
Volume 373, Issue 36, 31 August 2009, Pages 3296-3300

Ocean heat content and Earth’s radiation imbalance

David H. Douglassa and Robert S. Knox

Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, PO Box 270171, Rochester, NY 14627-0171, USA

Received 26 June 2009; revised 8 July 2009; accepted 9 July 2009. Communicated by V.M. Agranovich. Available online 14 July 2009.


Earth’s radiation imbalance is determined from ocean heat content data and compared with results of direct measurements. Distinct time intervals of alternating positive and negative values are found: 1960–mid-1970s (−0.15), mid-1970s–2000 (+0.15), 2001–present (−0.2 W/m2), and are consistent with prior reports. These climate shifts limit climate predictability.

Keywords: Climate; Radiative imbalance; Ocean heat content

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