According to new research, the Earth is trapping approximately twice as much heat as it did in 2005. It was characterized as an “unprecedented” increase considering the climate crisis, as The Guardian reported.
“Energy imbalance” means the difference between how much of the Sun’s “radiant energy” is absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere and surface, compared to how much “thermal infrared radiation” bounces back into space.
“A positive energy imbalance means the Earth system is gaining energy, causing the planet to heat up,” NASA announced in a statement.
The research results are based on data from satellite sensors as well as from ocean floats.
The study found that this doubling is partly the result of greenhouse gases and water vapor increasing, as well as decreasing in clouds and ice.
Greenhouse gas emissions keep heat in Earth’s atmosphere and trap radiation that would otherwise move into space. This phenomenon provokes other climate changes, for example, ice and snowmelt, NASA reported.
“It’s likely a mix of anthropogenic forcing and internal variability,” the scientists said.
Moreover, according to NASA, “it’s not possible to predict with any certainty what the coming decades might look like for the balance of Earth’s energy budget”. Unless the rate of heat uptake slows, greater shifts in climate should be expected.