Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ocean Warming Update

A paper in press by Sydney Levitus et al in GRL updates ocean heat content trends through 2010:

Strong ocean warming continues. The numbers are in their abstract, so I won't repeat them here. Here's a plot of their results:

The warming rate in the 0-2000 m layer is 140 TW (terawatts) -- that's 2.2 Hiros/second. [A "Hiro" is the yield of the Hiroshima bomb: 63 TJ.] Another way to think about the extra heat being added to the world's oceans represents 0.14% of the sunlight received at the Earth's surface (198 W before reflection). So it's as if every year the Earth's surface is now receiving 7.0 extra hours of sunlight.

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