1.0 Introduction

2.0 Antarctic Ice Core Data

3.0 Effect of Green House Gases

4.0 Effect of Ocean

5.0 Heat Balance Mechanism 6.0 Further Interpretation of Ice Core Data 7.0 Coming Interglacial Peak Period

8.0 Defend for the Poor Carbon




Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface (≈3.61x1014 m2) is covered by ocean and smaller seas.[10] Its volume is approximately 1.3 billion cubic kilometers. Its average depth is 3,790 meters, and its maximum depth is 10,923 meters. The total mass of the hydrosphere is about 1.41021 kg, which is about 0.023 percent of the Earth's total mass. Less than 3 percent is fresh water, the rest is saltwater, mostly in the ocean.


The atmosphere of Earth is a layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth. Dry air contains roughly (by volume) 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.038% carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases. Air also contains a variable amount of water vapour, on average around 1%.[12] The atmosphere has a mass of about 51018 kg, three quarters of which is within about 11 km from the Earth surface. The atmosphere becomes thinner and thinner with increasing altitude, with no definite boundary between the atmosphere and outer space.


The specific heat capacity for sea water and air are 3.993 kJ/kg/K and 1.005 kJ/kg/K respectively. The fusion heat of ice is 334 kJ/kg and the latent heat of water is 2260 kJ/kg. Without considering the fusion heat of ices and glaciers and the latent heat of vapourization process, the ocean has the heat capacity of 5.59x1021 kJ/K, while the atmosphere has the heat capacity of 5.03x1018 kJ/K. The ocean has more than 1,000 times heat capacity compare to the atmosphere. In another word, for the amount of heat to increase the sea water temperature by 1C, the same amount of heat is able to heat up the atmosphere by 1,000C. Hence, the Earth climate is very depending on the ocean.


Ocean temperature and currents greatly affect the Earth's climate by transferring heat from the tropics to the polar regions, and transferring warm or cold air and precipitation to coastal regions, where winds may carry them inland. Surface heat and fresh water fluxes create global density gradients that drive the thermohaline circulation part of large-scale ocean circulation. It plays an important role in supplying heat to the polar regions, and thus in sea ice regulation.


The temperature of the ocean is rather steady and stable because it is balanced by the large heat capacity, high fusion heat and latent heat of water. When ocean absorbs heat, ices and glaciers melt and also sea water vapourizes to the atmosphere. Therefore, the temperature change of the ocean is not noticeable. But the air temperature is greatly affected by the amount of water vapour because water vapour is the main contributor of GHG.


It is the ocean that determine the climate, the amount of vapour in the atmosphere greatly determines the temperature of the atmosphere. Humid atmosphere acts as an insulator for the heat rejection from the Earth to outer space.






| Main page |


This website is originated on 8-April-2010,

updated on 27-April-2010.

Copyright 2010 by Kok-Haw Kong

All rights reserved.