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Surface energy budget diagnosis reveals possible mechanism for the different warming rate among Earth's three poles in recent decades

Journal article
Authors K. Gao
A. Duan
Deliang Chen
G. Wu
Published in Science Bulletin
Volume 64
Issue 16
ISSN 2095-9273
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Language en
Keywords Antarctic, Arctic, Surface energy balance, Surface temperature, Tibetan plateau, Atmospheric temperature, Budget control, Energy balance, Heat storage, Interfacial energy, Sea ice, Surface properties, Surface waters, Atmospheric water vapor, Global climate changes, Heat storage capacity, Surface energy budget, Surface temperatures, Climate change
Subject categories Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences


The Arctic, Antarctic and Tibetan Plateau (TP) are pivotal and sensitive areas of global climate change. Based on two reanalysis datasets during 1980–2017 with in situ observational verification, here we investigate the surface temperature (Ts) changes in these regions and the possible reasons by diagnosing the surface energy balance equation. In recent decades, the Ts of the Arctic and the TP exhibit much larger warming rates compared with the global average. Meanwhile, a weak warming trend can be detected in the Antarctic continent, accompanied by a slight cooling trend in the surrounding ocean. In the Arctic and TP, clear-sky downward long-wave radiation (LW) affected by atmospheric water vapor is the dominant factor regulating the Ts change, whereas the change in sea ice played an important role in modulating the Ts over the polar seas efficiently via influencing the ice albedo feedback and sea surface heat storage capacity. © 2019 Science China Press

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