Earth's Heat Transport

Earth's Heat Transport

Meridional Atmosphere and Ocean Heat Transports

The result of long-term climatological circulation and short-term storm systems is the net transport of heat from low latitudes to high latitudes. This figure, based on observations, shows the total amount of energy (in petawatts or quadrillions of watts) that's transported toward both poles by the atmosphere, shown in green, and by the ocean, shown in red. While the atmosphere transports most of the heat out of the tropics and toward the poles, the ocean also plays a significant role. Thus climate models need to simulate oceanic processes in addition to atmospheric ones.