2014 Volume 92A Pages 157-165
The estimation of the distribution of global anthropogenic heat release (AHR) from 1992 to 2009 was obtained by applying Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP)/Operational Linescan System (OLS) satellite data. The results indicate that global AHR was geographically concentrated, essentially correlating to economic activities. The anthropogenic heat flux concentrated in the economically developed areas, such as East Asia, Europe, and Eastern North America, reached a level high enough to influence regional climate. In contrast, the anthropogenic heat flux in vast areas, such as Africa, Central and North Asia, and South America, is very small. With the increases in global population and economic development, an increase in AHR was easily found. The model results show that AHR has a significant impact on surface temperature and that it is able to affect global atmospheric circulation, leading to a 1-2 K increase in the high-latitude areas of Eurasia and North America. The results show that AHR is able to affect global climate despite being limited to a region. Although the influence to global warming by AHR is not as large as greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, on a global scale, AHR is an important factor in global climate change that should not be ignored.