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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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Total Heat Content vs Surface Temperature

This graph shows the change with time of the surface temperature in red (NASA GISS) and Total Heat Content of the Earth in blue (Church et al 2011). Both curves are annual data, showing that the total heat content increases nearly monotonically while the surface temperature varies a lot year to year because it represents only a small fraction of the total heat content of the climate system. The planetary energy imbalance continues to rise unabated.


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