Observations – Recent
Recent Observations
• The Earth currently receives more energy from the sun than it emits
• The oceans absorb about 80% of the “excess” energy
• The Earth (oceans and atmosphere) have been warming at a relatively steady rate for about 40 years
• During the last 15 years more of the “excess” energy has gone into the oceans (and less into the atmosphere), resulting in smaller increase in the Earth’s atmospheric temperature
• Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 are increasing about 2ppm/year
• Much of the atmospheric CO2 originated from burning of fossil fuels
• The volume of Arctic ice has been declining steadily since 1990, and the Arctic is expected to be ice-free in the summer sometime in the next 20-30 years.
Source: Bruce Parker