The Global Energy and Water Exchanges (GEWEX) Earth’s Energy Imbalance Assessment
Event: 2023 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting
Session: Synergies between Argo, GRACE and Altimetry
Presentation type: Type Forum only
Contribution: PDF file
Earth’s Energy Imbalance (EEI) quantifies the net radiative flux at the top-of-atmosphere in the annual global mean. There is clear evidence from satellite and in-situ observations that Earth has been accumulating a surplus of energy over the last few decades congruent with a positive EEI. Energy absorbed by Earth is distributed within the Earth system, heating the ocean, land, atmosphere, and cryosphere. The World Climate Research Program (WCRP) Global Energy and Water Cycle (GEWEX) Data and Analysis Panel (GDAP) initiated the assessment of data products that serve in quantifying EEI and its variability. Primary goals of the assessment are to reconcile discrepancies across methods – in-situ, satellite-based and modeled estimates of EEI and its variations -, to understand error sources, and quantify uncertainties. In phase 1, focus is on data products that estimate ocean heating rates and heat content, which sequesters 90% of EEI. A corollary focus is on uncertainties in estimates of contributing components to sea level rise. In this presentation, we will talk about the assessment goals, show some preliminary results, including a comparison of multiple global ocean heat uptake estimates with top of-the-atmosphere net radiation, and provide an update to the geodetic ocean heat content record that combines total sea level (from altimetry) and ocean mass (from GRACE/GRACE Follow-On) to estimate Earth’s Energy Imbalance (EEI) from 2002 through 2023.