Global Heating (continued)

The energy imbalance (see last post ) is about 0.5W/m2 on average over the last 30 years.

Here are my calculations.
Net radiative imbalance = (Energy imbalance in J/year)/(Area of Earth * Seconds per year) = 8e21 / (5e14 * 3.1e7) = 0.5W/m2

I'm not sure the exact extent to which they are comparable, but it seems lower than the estimates of radiative forcing now (2.3 +/- 1), even accounting for the fact that RF will be higher now than in the average of the 1970-now period.

So either RF and heat imbalance can't be directly compared like this, or sulphates are shielding more than we think, or the basic processes of heating aren't as bad as the IPCC say.

The exponential growth in RF factors sort of cancels out the log scale on which they have an effect.

That's not to invalidate the other points in other parts of the picture which may favour the other sides of the debate (e.g. the slow feedbacks and the systemic picture once carbon cycle and oceans are considered); but it seems that the ocean heat flow on the face of it support the contention that there is such a thing as global warming, but it's less serious (from the point of view of the basic heat imbalance) than the IPCC says it is.

Global Heating

Happy New Year!

Here's an interesting factoid: the average amount of extra energy (300ZJ/40 years ~=8ZJ) gained per year by the world due to global warming between 1970 and 2012 is similar to the total energy contained in the world's remaining oil reserves.

[1] My calculations based on diagram from David Mackay Talk
[2]  7.9×10^21 J estimated energy contained in the world's petroleum reserves as of 2010 (Wikipedia

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