CHAPTER 7: Introduction to the Atmosphere

(h). The Greenhouse Effect: Solar Energy Atmospheric Cascade

Solar Energy Atmospheric Cascade


Figure 7h-1: As illustrated in the diagram above, of all the sunlight that passes through the atmosphere annually, only 51% is available at the Earth's surface to do work. This energy is used to heat the Earth's surface and lower atmosphere, melt and evaporate water, and run photosynthesis in plants. Of the other 49%, 4% is reflected back to space by the Earth's surface, 26% is scattered or reflected to space by clouds and atmospheric particles, and 19% is absorbed by atmospheric gases and clouds.



Study Guide


Additional Readings

Internet Weblinks
Citation: Pidwirny, M. (2006). "The Greenhouse Effect: Solar Energy Atmospheric Cascade". Fundamentals of Physical Geography, 2nd Edition. Date Viewed.


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05/07/2009 15:06