What is the fate of most solar energy when it enters earth’s atmosphere?

What happens to most of the solar energy that reaches Earth’s atmosphere?

Once the sun’s energy reaches earth, it is intercepted first by the atmosphere. A small part of the sun’s energy is directly absorbed, particularly by certain gases such as ozone and water vapor. Some of the sun’s energy is reflected back to space by clouds and the earth’s surface.

Which of the following can happen to solar energy before it enters the Earth’s atmosphere?

Heat at Earth’s Surface

About half of the solar radiation that strikes the top of the atmosphere is filtered out before it reaches the ground. This energy can be absorbed by atmospheric gases, reflected by clouds, or scattered.

What happens to solar radiation when it enters Earth’s atmosphere?


The solar radiation that passes through Earth’s atmosphere is either reflected off snow, ice, or other surfaces or is absorbed by the Earth’s surface.

What earth material has the highest albedo?


How much sunlight reaches the earth?

Sunlight travels at the speed of light. Photons emitted from the surface of the Sun need to travel across the vacuum of space to reach our eyes. The short answer is that it takes sunlight an average of 8 minutes and 20 seconds to travel from the Sun to the Earth.

What is the fundamental energy balance for Earth?

Earth’s energy balance refers to the balance between the amount of incoming solar radiation and outgoing terrestrial radiation. In a 1-year period, the overall average flow of energy to and from Earth must balance, or the global mean (average) temperature of Earth would change.

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How much radiation does Earth’s surface absorb?

(NASA map by Robert Simmon, based on CERES data.) The atmosphere and the surface of the Earth together absorb 71 percent of incoming solar radiation, so together, they must radiate that much energy back to space for the planet’s average temperature to remain stable.

What is the fate of solar radiation that reaches the earth quizlet?

What happens to solar radiation after it reaches Earth? How do greenhouse gases warm the lower atmosphere? – Nearly 70% of solar radiation is absorbed by the earth’s atmosphere and oceans, and the rest is reflected back into space. The absorbed radiation is re-emitted as infrared radiation.

What are two sources of energy absorbed by the earth’s surface?

Most of the energy in the Earth system comes from just a few sources: solar energy, gravity, radioactive decay, and the rotation of the Earth. Solar energy drives many surface processes such as winds, currents, the hydrologic cycle, and the overall climate system.

What prevents heat escaping from the earth?

greenhouse gases

What three things may happen to incoming solar radiation?

Once energy from the Sun gets to Earth, several things can happen to it:

  • Energy can be scattered or absorbed by aerosols in the atmosphere. …
  • Short wavelengths are absorbed by ozone in the stratosphere.
  • Clouds may act to either reflect energy out to space or absorb energy, trapping it in the atmosphere.

What is an example of solar radiation?

Solar radiation includes visible light, ultraviolet light, infrared, radio waves, X-rays, and gamma rays. Radiation is one way to transfer heat.

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What has an albedo of 100?

A pure white surface, approximated on Earth by freshly fallen snow, has an albedo of unity (or 100%), indicating that all the incident radiation is reflected. A black body has an albedo of zero (or 0%), since all the incident radiation is absorbed.

What has the least albedo?


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