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Home » The amount of heat the Earth traps has doubled in just 15 years, study shows

The amount of heat the Earth traps has doubled in just 15 years, study shows

The amount of heat the Earth traps has doubled in just 15 years, study shows

(CNN)The planet is trapping roughly double the amount of heat in the atmosphere than it did nearly 15 years ago, according to an alarming new analysis from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Researchers say it's a "remarkable" amount of energy that is already having far-reaching consequences.

"It's excess energy that's being taken up by the planet," said Norman Loeb, a NASA scientist and lead author of the study, "so it's going to mean further increases in temperatures and more melting of snow and sea ice, which will cause sea level rise — all things that society really cares about."

The study, published this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, found that what's known as the Earth's energy imbalance — the difference between how much of the sun's energy the planet absorbs and how much energy is radiated back into space — approximately doubled from 2005 to 2019. The result was "striking," the research team wrote.

Life on Earth couldn't exist without the sun's energy, but it matters how much of that energy is radiated back into space. It's a delicate balance that determines the planet's climate.
In addition to higher global temperatures, the most obvious effect of a positive imbalance, Loeb told CNN "we're going to be seeing shifts in atmospheric circulations including more extreme events like droughts."

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