The atmospheric heat budget

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Where does the greatest amount of energy in the atmosphere come from?
Insolation e.g. Incoming short wave radiation
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What are two other causes of energy in the atmosphere?
Some from the Earth (volcanic activity) & energy released from urban areas
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What does the solar constant effect?
Long term climate change and varies slightly
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How does the Earth's distance from the sun affect energy received?
Eccentric orbit of the Earth around the sun causes up to 6% variation in solar constant
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How does the altitude of the sun in the sky affect energy received?
More energy is received when the sun strikes the Earth head on (equator) and less when it strikes at an oblique angle (60 degrees N/S)
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How does the length of day and night affect energy received?
The 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth means that regions near the poles receive insolation at certain times of year
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Does all radiation approaching the Earth reach the surface?
No as some is absorbed by water vapour, CO2, dust, ozone and ice partricles
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What is ALBEDO?
The ratio between incoming energy to reflected energy (whole Earth = 4%)
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How much % of energy reaches the Earth's surface?
24% (with 21% of that arriving from shortwave radiation which converts to heat and re-radiates long wave radiation into the atmosphere)
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Can long wave radiation escape the atmosphere?
Long wave radiation cannot escape and is absorbed by greenhouse gases, retaining heat and adding to the greenhouse effect
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Is the Earth heating up or cooling down?
Neither, there is a balance between incoming and outgoing terrestrial radiation
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Where on Earth is there a net DEFICIT of incoming to outgoing radiation?
North and South Poles
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Where on Earth is there a net SURPLUS of incoming to outgoing radiation?
Lower altitudes (35-40 degrees North and South)
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Card 2

Front

What are two other causes of energy in the atmosphere?

Back

Some from the Earth (volcanic activity) & energy released from urban areas

Card 3

Front

What does the solar constant effect?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

How does the Earth's distance from the sun affect energy received?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

How does the altitude of the sun in the sky affect energy received?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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