Observations of the earth's heat budget provide a real-world constraint on the radiative forcing which is simulated in global climate change models. Assessments, such as the IPCC, would more effectively depict changes over time in the climate system by using a heat balance perspective in order to diagnose the earth's radiative imbalance. This commentary describes this approach and presents reasons such an assessment is valuable.

This content is only available as a PDF.

Footnotes

Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado