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Placing the Recent Hiatus Period in an Energy Balance Perspective

With the launch of NASA’s Terra Satellite Earth Observing System on Dec. 18, 1999, and subsequent ‘first light’ of the Cloud’s and the Earth’s Energy Radiant System (CERES) instrument on February 26, 2000, NASA gave birth to what ultimately would become the first long-term global observational record of Earth’s energy balance. This key indicator of the climate system describes the delicate and complex balance between how much of the sun’s energy reaching Earth is absorbed and how much thermal infrared radiation is emitted back to space.

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