Solar radiation and the global energy budget

Learning objectives

When you have read this chapter you will:

Know the characteristics of solar radiation and the electromagnetic spectrum, Know the effects of the atmosphere on solar and terrestrial radiation, Understand the cause of the atmospheric greenhouse effect,

Understand the earth's heat budget and the importance of horizontal transfers of energy as sensible and latent heat.

This chapter describes how radiation from the sun enters the atmosphere and reaches the surface. The effects on solar radiation of absorbing gases and the scattering effects of aerosols are examined. Then terrestrial long-wave (infra-red) radiation is discussed in order to explain the radiation balance. At the surface, an energy balance exists due to the additional transfers of sensible and latent heat to the atmosphere. The effects of heating on surface temperature characteristics are then presented.

Continue reading here: Solar Radiation

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    11 years ago