Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.5194/esd-12-581-2021
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) First assessment of the earth heat inventory within CMIP5 historical simulations
Author Cuesta-Valero, F.J.; García-García, A.; Beltrami, H.; Finnis, J.
Source Titel Earth System Dynamics
Year 2021
Department RS
Volume 12
Issue 2
Page From 581
Page To 600
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Data and Software links
Abstract The energy imbalance at the top of the atmosphere over the last century has caused an accumulation of heat within the ocean, the continental subsurface, the atmosphere and the cryosphere. Although ∼90 % of the energy gained by the climate system has been stored in the ocean, the other components of the Earth heat inventory cannot be neglected due to their influence on associated climate processes dependent on heat storage, such as sea level rise and permafrost stability. However, there has not been a comprehensive assessment of the heat inventory within global climate simulations yet. Here, we explore the ability of 30 advanced general circulation models (GCMs) from the fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) to simulate the distribution of heat within the Earth's energy reservoirs for the period 1972–2005 of the Common Era. CMIP5 GCMs simulate an average heat storage of 247±172 ZJ (96±4 % of total heat content) in the ocean, 5±9 ZJ (2±3 %) in the continental subsurface, 2±3 ZJ (1±1 %) in the cryosphere and 2±2 ZJ (1±1 %) in the atmosphere. However, the CMIP5 ensemble overestimates the ocean heat content by 83 ZJ and underestimates the continental heat storage by 9 ZJ and the cryosphere heat content by 5 ZJ, in comparison with recent observations. The representation of terrestrial ice masses and the continental subsurface, as well as the response of each model to the external forcing, should be improved in order to obtain better representations of the Earth heat inventory and the partition of heat among climate subsystems in global transient climate simulations.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Cuesta-Valero, F.J., García-García, A., Beltrami, H., Finnis, J. (2021):
First assessment of the earth heat inventory within CMIP5 historical simulations
Earth Syst. Dynam. 12 (2), 581 - 600 10.5194/esd-12-581-2021