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SOLAR ENERGY ► Solar energy is transmitted to earth in the form of short and long wave (SW and LW) radiation, since the sun is very hot. SW is light (visible.

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Presentation on theme: "SOLAR ENERGY ► Solar energy is transmitted to earth in the form of short and long wave (SW and LW) radiation, since the sun is very hot. SW is light (visible."— Presentation transcript:

1 SOLAR ENERGY ► Solar energy is transmitted to earth in the form of short and long wave (SW and LW) radiation, since the sun is very hot. SW is light (visible and ultraviolet). LW is heat. ► The earth also emits radiation (all bodies at a temperature above -273°C do); this radiation is almost entirely long wave (LW) since it is cooler than the sun. ► The amount of insolation reaching the earth’s outer atmosphere varies with distance and variations of the earth’s orbit. This causes fluctuations of up to 4% on a time scale of centuries or more. Incoming Solar Radiation, or INSOLATION is the energy which drives the atmospheric system. ► Over the last 4.6 billion years (the age of the Earth), the sun’s output has increased around 30%

2 Radiation Basics SW LW The sun emits all types of radiation. Anything above.0007 mm is Long Wave (LW). Below.0007 mm is Short Wave (SW).

3 Low sun (as sunset) shows more red due to atmospheric dust and pollution GLOBAL VARIATIONS in INSOLATION Insolation received at the earth’s surface varies with latitude. The higher angle of the sun in the sky at the equator conveys more energy per unit area than at higher latitudes. � A given amount of radiation covers a smaller area when overhead than when at a low angle; it is more concentrated � Radiation passes through a greater length of atmosphere when at a low angle in the sky than when overhead. Atmospheric gases, dust and vapor absorb more energy before it reaches the earth’s surface. A high sun is more effective than a sun low in the sky

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5 The time of year causes the sun’s angle in the sky and the amount of daylight

6 DAY LENGTH Antarctic circle 66.5°S Arctic circle 66.5°N North Pole 90°N South Pole 90°S Equator 0° Tropic of Cancer 23.5°N Tropic of Capricorn 23.5°N Six months daytime (March-Sept), six months night (Sept - March) Six months daytime (Sept - March), six months night (March-Sept) One day with 24 hours daylight (June 21st); one day with 24 hours darkness (Dec 21st) One day with 24 hours daylight (March 21st); one day with 24 hours darkness (June 21st) Sun is overhead once a year (June 21st). Day length always at least 10 hours. Sun is overhead once a year (Dec 21st). Day length always at least 10 hours. Constant day length - 12 hours day and night all year round Lengths of day and night vary more between the seasons at higher latitudes. This makes climate more seasonal at the poles than the equator More seasonal

7 Energy must be transferred from Equator to Poles

8 Global Energy Flux At 40°N and S, there is a balance of insolation with outgoing LW radiation over the year. Insolation exceeds LW radiation in the daytime, and in summer; the reverse is true at night and in winter. Polewards of 40°N and S, there is an annual heat deficit, despite periods of surplus during some days and in summer. Equatorwards of 40°N and S, there is an annual heat surplus despite periods of deficit at night and in winter. Without movement of heat energy, the poles would become steadily colder and colder, while the equator would get progressively warmer. This clearly does not happen. This heat transfer (flux) occurs by: Ocean currents; cold polar water flows towards the equator while warm water flows from equator to pole. Winds which blow warm air to towards the poles and cold to the equator. An excess of evaporation which takes up and stores latent heat in water vapor, releasing it towards the pole where it condenses.

9 OCEAN CURRENTS ColdSea temperature Warm Labrador current carries cold water from equator to pole down east coast of N.America Gulf Stream carries warm water from equator towards the pole, and NW Europe A similar counter-clockwise movement of warm water polewards, and cold water equatorwards can be seen in the Pacific. Surface currents generally do not cross the Equator.

10 HEAT TRANSFER by HUMIDITY POLES - Precipitation exceeds evaporation at high latitudes; condensation releases latent heat stored in water vapor. EQUATOR - Evaporation exceeds condensation (and precipitation); this uses heat energy and stores it in the form of water vapor. Red shows high humidity from high rates of evaporation LATENT HEAT is also transferred from sea to land in this way. Evaporation exceeds condensation over oceans (which uses heat); condensation is greater over land, which is heated up - especially in winter.

11 Cold, north winds blowing south. Warm south winds blowing north. A typical situation that helps correct the energy imbalance. Winds

12 Jan 20-22, 2014

13 Calculating the Earth’s Energy Transfer Generally, this does not require higher mathematics but it does require logic. A good example of logic was used by an ancient Greek mathematician, Eratosthenes

14 Eratosthenes’ Calculation of the Earth’s circumference At Noon of the Summer Solstice, the sun angle at Alexandria is 7.1 deg but at the same time, it is directly overhead at Syene (Aswan) at 23.5 N. How did Eratothenes calculate the circumference of the Earth from this data? Hint: How many degrees in a complete circle? This is an ungraded exercise so the class can see what the graded ones will be like.

15 Next challenge (more climatological): How much energy does the Earth receive from the sun? i.e., how do we calculate the Solar Constant which is 1.98 cal cm -2 min -1 ? E = σT 4 where T = 5800K and σ = x cal cm -2 min -1 K -4. Also the radius of the sun is 6.96 x cm and the radius of the Earth is 6.37 x 10 8 cm. The radius of the Earth’s orbit is 150 million km. The surface area of a sphere is 4πr 2 (assume both sun and Earth are spheres). (Hint: Calculate the total number of calories leaving the sun each minute, then follow that energy until it reaches the Earth. Draw a picture of the sun emitting energy.) The important part is how you get to the answer. Explain fully, using complete sentences. Grammar and spelling will be graded as part of this. Due MONDAY.

16 The Solar “Constant” is the energy received at the average Earth-Sun distance. At any particular point on the Earth, calculating the energy received is more complex. Without an atmosphere, energy depends solely on latitude. At any particular time, the energy received is on the curve. For the year, the energy received is the area under the curve. While the poles get more at the summer solstice, overall, they get less energy.

17 Energy Budget What comes in versus what goes out.

18 Adding an atmosphere introduces clouds, reflection, and scattering. This is the solar constant.  (Scattering)

19 The Earth’s Energy Budget is Balanced (not always true for people)

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21 ENERGY CASCADE - DAY The budget on the previous slide is an average. Fluxes will change with time of year and time of day

22 ENERGY CASCADE -NIGHT

23 Albedo is reflection (%)

24 How does radiation lead to temperature climatology? Next:


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