Atmospheric energetics is an important part of atmospheric science. Understanding the spatiotemporal characteristics of atmospheric energy can provide new ideas and methods for atmospheric research, especially research on climate change. This work explains the comprehensive features of global atmospheric energy changes on the basis of the distribution, trends and dominant mode changes shown by total energy, internal energy, potential energy, latent heat energy, and kinetic energy as inferred from NCEP monthly reanalysis data for 1948 to 2016. The main conclusions are as follows: (1) The total energy decreases from the equator to the poles and from high-altitude areas, and energy in most parts of the world increases. The distribution and variation of internal energy and potential energy are closely related to the total energy. The maximum area and significant change zones of latent heat energy are located in the equator and low latitudes. The maximum area of kinetic energy is located in the long-wave trough of the middle latitudes and the outlet zone of westerly jets. In addition, kinetic energy located in double westerly jets in the southern hemisphere presents the most pronounced variations. (2) The total energy shows discontinuous periodic leap growth. The total energy of the Northern Hemisphere is more than that of the Southern Hemisphere. The speed-up of the Northern Hemisphere, however, is slower than that of the Southern Hemisphere. That is, the energy between the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere tends to be homoplastic. The total energy above the ocean is more than that above land, and the gap between the total energy above the ocean and that above land has widened. Volcanic eruptions may have an important effect on the interannual reduction in atmospheric energy. (3) The spatial characteristics and distribution trends of the first leading mode of each component of atmospheric energy coincide, and they underwent a decadal catastrophe approximately in 1975. As a whole, the second leading modes of the total energy, internal energy, and potential energy of the atmosphere reflect that the changes in the north and south poles oppose those in other regions. The trend exhibited by the change in latent heat energy in some lower-latitude areas contradicts that exhibited by the change in the rest of the world. Kinetic energy mainly shows a meridional wave train distribution from the tropical Pacific to the north and south poles. The time series of the second leading mode possesses the characteristics of multidecadal variations that may be related to the internal variability of the climate system.