Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2023-44
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2023-44
16 Jan 2024
 | 16 Jan 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESD.

First comprehensive assessment of industrial era land heat uptake from multiple sources

Félix García-Pereira, Jesús Fidel González-Rouco, Camilo Melo-Aguilar, Norman Julius Steinert, Elena García-Bustamante, Philip de Vrese, Johann Jungclaus, Stephan Lorenz, Stefan Hagemann, Francisco José Cuesta-Valero, Almudena García-García, and Hugo Beltrami

Abstract. The anthropogenically-intensified greenhouse effect has caused a radiative imbalance at the top of the atmosphere during the industrial period. This, in turn, has led to an energy surplus in various components of the Earth system, with the ocean storing the largest part. The land contribution ranks second with the latest observational estimates based on borehole temperature profiles, which quantify the terrestrial energy surplus to be 6 % in the last five decades, whereas studies based on state-of-the-art climate models scale it down to 2 %. This underestimation stems from land surface models (LSMs) having a too shallow subsurface, which severely constrains the land heat uptake simulated by Earth System Models (ESMs). A forced simulation of the last 2000 years with the Max Planck Institute ESM (MPI-ESM) using a deep LSM captures 4 times more heat than the standard shallow MPI-ESM simulations in the historical period, well above the estimates provided by other ESMs. However, deepening the LSM does not remarkably affect the simulated surface temperature. It is shown that the heat stored during the historical period by an ESM using a deep LSM component can be accurately estimated by considering the surface temperatures simulated by the ESM using a shallow LSM and propagating them with a standalone forward model. This result is used to derive estimates of land heat uptake using all available observational datasets, reanalysis products, and state-of-the-art ESM experiments. This approach yields values of 10.5–16.0 ZJ for 1971–2018, slightly smaller than the latest borehole-based estimates (18.2 ZJ).

Félix García-Pereira, Jesús Fidel González-Rouco, Camilo Melo-Aguilar, Norman Julius Steinert, Elena García-Bustamante, Philip de Vrese, Johann Jungclaus, Stephan Lorenz, Stefan Hagemann, Francisco José Cuesta-Valero, Almudena García-García, and Hugo Beltrami

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on esd-2023-44', Anonymous Referee #1, 08 Feb 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on esd-2023-44', Anonymous Referee #2, 08 Feb 2024
Félix García-Pereira, Jesús Fidel González-Rouco, Camilo Melo-Aguilar, Norman Julius Steinert, Elena García-Bustamante, Philip de Vrese, Johann Jungclaus, Stephan Lorenz, Stefan Hagemann, Francisco José Cuesta-Valero, Almudena García-García, and Hugo Beltrami
Félix García-Pereira, Jesús Fidel González-Rouco, Camilo Melo-Aguilar, Norman Julius Steinert, Elena García-Bustamante, Philip de Vrese, Johann Jungclaus, Stephan Lorenz, Stefan Hagemann, Francisco José Cuesta-Valero, Almudena García-García, and Hugo Beltrami

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Short summary
According to climate model estimates, the land stored 2 % of the system heat excess in the last decades, while observational studies show it was around 6 %. This difference stems from these models using too shallow land components that constrain land heat uptake. It was found that deepening the land component does not affect the surface temperature. This result can be used to derive land heat uptake estimates from different sources, which are much closer to previous observational reports.
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