Presentation on theme: "Solar Radiation and Insolation"— Presentation transcript:
1 Solar Radiation and Insolation Incoming solar radiation: The output of electromagnetic energy emitted from the Sun that is received by the Earth.
2 Intensity of radiation = The rate at which energy is radiated. Insolation is the portion of the Sun’s energy that is received by the Earth.The intensity of insolation from the Sun on a specific area of Earth is dependent on a number of factors.YXX = wavelengthY = temperatureInverse relationship: The higher the temperature the shorter the wavelength of radiation.
3 Effects of Earth’s Atmosphere on Insolation H20 vapor, methane and CO2 can ABSORB infrared (long wave)radiation.OzoneMuch of the incoming solar radiation is REFLECTED or SCATTERED back into space, into the atmosphere or to Earth.Aerosols --solids and liquids in the atmosphere – ie: pollutants, dust , ice, ash, water droplets, etc.. cause this scattering of radiation.OzoneNearly all ultraviolet (short wave) radiation is ABSORBED by ozone (O3 gas) in Earth’s upper atmosphere.
4 Balance of Energy from Insolation and Earth’s Surface Radiation Insolation received by the Earth’s surface is changed to heat energy. The Earth’s radiates this heat energy back into the atmosphere.Nearly 50% of insolation reaches Earth’s surface.Nearly 50% of insolation is absorbed or reflected by the atmosphere.The amount of energy absorbed from insolation = Earth’s surface radiation.DYNAMIC EQUILIBRIUM
5 Factors Affecting Absorption and Reflection of Insolation The angle of incidence is the angle at which insolation strikes the Earth’s surface.Angle of IncidenceThe higher the angle of incidence = The more insolation absorbed.The lower the angle of incidence = The more likely the insolation will be scattered or reflected.Sun is high in the skySun is low in the sky
6 Surface Characteristics Factors Affecting Absorption and Reflection of InsolationThe texture and color of features on the Earth’s surface can affect the absorption of insolation.Surface CharacteristicsRough, uneven surfaces and/or dark surfaces absorb more insolation.Light and smooth surfaces tend to reflect rather absorb insolation.
7 Insolation may cause a change in phase for water. Factors Affecting Absorption and Reflection of InsolationChange of State and TranspirationInsolation may cause a change in phase for water.Insolation may fuel plant growth and increase the rate of transpiration -- the process whereby a plant releases water vapor into the atmosphere.In both cases, insolation is neither reflected or absorbed, but transforms into potential energy.
8 Land vs. Water HeatingEqual areas of land and water do not heat up and/or cool off at the same rate.Water heats and cools more slowly than land for a number or reasons:Water has a higher specific heat than the land.Water is transparent and allows a greater area for insolation to penetrate compared to a land surface.Convection currents in water allow for the distribution of energy absorbed through insolation over a large volume.Some of the insolation striking the water may lead to a phase change (evaporation). The energy from insolation is transformed to potential energy.
9 1. Short wave insolation that reaches the Earth’s surface is absorbed. The Greenhouse Effect1. Short wave insolation that reaches the Earth’s surface is absorbed.2. The Earth’s surface reradiates the energy absorbed from insolation. However, the energy radiated has a longer wavelength (infrared radiation).3.1.3. “Greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere (ie: CO2, H2O vapor, etc…)absorb the infrared radiation emitted from the Earth .2.4.4. The absorption of this radiation in the atmosphere warms our planet.
10 Result? Melting ice caps!! The Greenhouse EffectModern history has shown an increase in the amount of “greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere.This increase is due primarily to human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels and emission of pollutants in to atmosphere.The increase in “greenhouse gases” has led to an increase in the amount of radiation absorbed from the Earth. This, in turn, has led to an increase in average global temperatures.Result? Melting ice caps!!