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Radiation and Earth’s Atmosphere
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A global balance is maintained by excess heat from the equatorial region transferring toward the poles.

Incoming Solar Radiation

Outgoing Longwave Radiation

Unequal heating of tropics and poles

Slide 17

The Global Energy Budget: Driver of Atmospheric Motion

The Global Energy Budget: Driver of Atmospheric Motion

However, the tilt of the

Earth means this balance

is not maintained for each

latitude

A balance exists between

the incoming solar and

outgoing longwave energy

averaged over the globe

and the year

DEFICIT

SURPLUS

Slide 18

Questions:

Questions:

What is the current global mean surface temperature?

Why it is 33C or 59F warmer than it would be without the atmosphere?

Why is climate dominated by the radiation balance of the atmosphere?

What are the main greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere?

In what latitudes the earth’s gain and lost radiative energy (heat), respectively?

Slide 19

Questions:

Questions:

What is the current global mean surface temperature?

15C or 59F

Why it is 33C or 59F warmer than it would be without the atmosphere?

Because of greenhouse effect of the atmosphere

Why is climate dominated by the radiation balance of the atmosphere?

It contributes to 99.978% of total heat flux into the atmosphere

What are the main greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere?

H2O, CO2, CH4, O3, CFCs, NO2

In what latitudes the earth’s gain and lost radiative energy (heat), respectively?

Gain heat in the tropics or 40S-40N, loss heat in high latitudes (50S-50N)

Slide 20

Interested in more questions? Try these questions:

Interested in more questions? Try these questions:

Can you name one or more main causes of glacier and interglacier climate change?

What is the most important greenhouse gases for modern climate change? What is the fastest growing greenhouse gas?

Earth’s climate has been much colder and warmer than that of today. Do you know in what ways the earth’s radiation balance was altered?

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