Balance of incoming visible and outgoing infrared energy

Incoming solar radiation (mostly visible) drives the earth-atmosphere (which emits infrared)

Over the annual cycle, the incoming solar energy that makes it to the earth surface (about 50 %) is balanced by the outgoing thermal infrared energy emitted through the atmosphere.

The atmosphere transmits, absorbs (by H2O, dust, O3) reflects (by clouds), and scatters (by aerosols) incoming visible; the earth surface absorbs and reflects the transmitted visible. The atmosphere selectively transmits or absorbs (by H2O, CO2, O3) the outgoing infrared radiation.

Navigation Bar