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The time-dependent temperature distribution in the laser-heated diamond anvil cell (DAC) is examined using finite element simulations. Calculations are carried out for the practically important case of a surface-absorbing metallic plate (coupler) surrounded by a thermally insulating transparent medium. The time scales of the heat transfer in the DAC cavity are found to be typically on the order of tens of microseconds depending on the geometrical and thermochemical parameters of the constituent materials. The use of much shorter laser pulses (e.g., on the order of tens of nanoseconds) creates sharp radial temperature gradients, which result in a very intense and abrupt axial conductive heat transfer that exceeds the radiative heat transfer by several orders of magnitude in the practically usable temperature range (<12 000 K). In contrast, the use of laser pulses with several μs duration provides sufficiently uniform spatial heating conditions suitable for studying the bulk sample. The effect of the latent heat of melting on the temperature distribution has been examined in the case of iron and hydrogen for both pulsed and continuous laser heating. The observed anomalies in temperature-laser power dependencies cannot be due to latent heat effects only. Finally, we examine the applicability of a modification to the plate geometry Ångström method for measurements of the thermal diffusivity in the DAC. The calculations show substantial effects of the thermochemical parameters of the insulating medium on the amplitude change and phase shift between the surface temperature variations of the front and back of the sample, which makes this method dependent on the precise knowledge of the properties of the medium.