1851–2004 annual heat budget of the continental landmasses



[1] Changing climate is accompanied by changing energy in various climate system components including the continental landmasses. When the temperature at ground surface rises, more heat will be deposited to the rocks beneath the ground subsurface, whereas when ground surface temperature falls, certain amount of heat will escape from the ground into the atmosphere. Based on the land-only global meteorological record, I analyze the annual heat budget of the world continents except for Antarctica. I show that between the period from 1851 to 2000 a total of 10.4 ZJ (Zetta-Joules or 1021 J) of thermal energy had been absorbed by Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America landmasses. An additional 1.34 ZJ of heat has been stored beneath the ground surface of these continents over the first four years of the 21st century from 2001 to 2004. The recent global climate change has led to an intensified heating in the continental landmasses.