Radiative processes are key to the climate’s water-energy cycle: Climate is determined by the imbalances of solar radiative heating and long-wave radiative cooling. The circulation of the atmosphere and ocean, the environment on land, and the biosphere are all driven by local radiative imbalances. Changes in climate can be caused by alterations of the radiation budget at the top of the atmosphere or at the surface, such as those induced by changing amounts of greenhouse gases or aerosols in the atmosphere or by changing land surface properties. The sensitivity of the climate response to changes in the radiative forcing is determined by many feedback processes that alter the radiation budget, especially the processes involved with clouds and water vapor. Understanding and quantifying the climate response to changes in radiative forcings requires consistent, global-scale, observations of the principal energy fluxes in climate system. This workshop will  focus on coordinating space observations of these fluxes and evaluating their consistency as well as advancing analysis methods to apply them in climate change assessments.

The objective of the workshop is to discuss and identify the coming observational challenges, in the next decade, to improve our understanding of the global water and energy cycle with emphasis on satellite observations. To help structure the discussion, we propose 5 sessions as listed below. The sessions will consist in presentations followed by slots dedicated to open discussions.

During the workshop we will take stock of the status of the different emerging themes related to the Earth water-energy cycle. We will propose an overview paper on the observational challenges by all participants and a set of papers detailing with the recent progress on these various topics. The workshop is expected to lead to a set of papers published as a volume of the Space Science Series of ISSI (SSSI) and, in parallel, in Surveys in Geophysics.

Top of Atmosphere Radiation and Imbalance

  • Trends in Earth Energy Imbalance (N. Loeb et al. confirmed)
  • Constraint on the equilibrium climate sensitivity from historical EEI observations (B. Meyssignac et al. confirmed)
  • Measuring Earth Energy Imbalance From Space (M. Hakuba et al. – confirmed)
  • Spectrally resolved radiation (H. Brindley – confirmed)
  • Long term monitoring of Earth’s energy balance and water cycle (R. Allan – confirmed)


  • Cloud in the atmosphere (A. Heidegger et al. – confirmed)
  • MCS climatology (T. Fiolleau – confirmed)
  • Water vapor in the atmosphere (H. Brogniez et al. – confirmed)
  • Reanalysis and the water and energy cycle
  • Physical linkages between deep convection and ECS (K. Schiro – confirmed)
  • Observational assessment of radiative-convective feedbacks in the tropics (H. Masunaga – confirmed)
  • Pattern effect in the tropics (T.Andrews – confirmed)
  • The decade of convection (G. Stephens – confirmed)


  • Radiation
  • Regional energy budget (S. Kato et al. – confirmed)
  • The BSRN network (Christian Lanconneli – confirmed)
  • Surface energy budget Martin Wild (TBC)
  • Precipitation
  • Extreme precipitation over the tropical oceans (R. Roca – confirmed)
  • New precipitation products for climate science (Ali Behrangi – confirmed)
  • Evaporation over the ocean
  • Last assessment of products (M. Schröder/R. Hollman – confirmed)


  • Land heat and water storage
  • Progress and challenges in monitoring subsurface water storage changes (M Rodell – confirmed)
  • Drought-Vegetation-Climate Interactions (Sonia Seneviratne – confirmed)
  • Ocean heat content and transport
  • OHC status (T Boyer – confirmed)
  • Attempting Observation-Based Closure of Earth’s Seasonal Energy Budget (G C. Johnson – confirmed)
  • causes of the Non-closure of the sea level since 2015 (Anne Barnoud – confirmed)

The Consistency of the Global Budget

  • The NASA NEWS consistency experiment (T. L’Ecuyer et al. – confirmed)
  • Inverse modelling and consistency with ocean heat transport : (K. Haines – confirmed)
  • Evaluation of CMIP6 models using consistent global water and energy fluxes (R. Guillaume-Castel, Benoit Meyssignac and R. Roca – confirmed)
  • ESMO, the new core project of WCRP (J. Schultz – confirmed)

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