Monday, 23 January 2017
In this study, we examine the temporal evolution of the global mean surface energy balance derived from the ERA-interim reanalysis to gain a better understanding on the change from a fast warming period between 1980s and 1990s to a stalled warming period since the beginning of the 21st century. The increase of CO2 alone yields a slightly accelerated warming trend from 1980s to the present. Also the oceanic heat storage term contributes an accelerated warming trend throughout the last 37 years except a short period from 2000 to 2006 when the oceanic heat storage term remains nearly constant. Therefore, the oceanic heat storage term can explain the fast warming period and the first half of the stalled warming period since 2000, but cannot do so for explaining the continuously stalled warming period in the last 10 years. Our analysis indicates that the stalled warming rate in the last 10 years is mainly due to the atmospheric dynamics and cloud feedbacks.
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