Climate sensitivity and thermal inertia Academic Article uri icon


  • We compare several Atmosphere/Ocean General Circulation model control runs by fitting long control runs to a simple discrete (annual averages) stochastic model: Rate of change of global heat content = difference of absorbed and emitted radiation + white noise. If the heat content is taken to be proportional to the surface temperature we can estimate the effective (broad frequency-band average) heat capacity for the system by a regression procedure. We find a wide range of effective heat capacities that correlate significantly with the published sensitivities of the models. Models with large sensitivities have large thermal inertia. Several interpretations are discussed.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Wu, Q. G., & North, G. R.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Wu, QG||North, GR

publication date

  • August 2002