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Radiation Balance.docx

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GEOG 2110L
David Stanley

RADIATION BALANCE ENERGY: the ability or capacity to do work on some form of matter * Potential energy: the potential to do work; energy at rest * Kinetic energy: the energy of motion * Heat energy: the sum total of all molecular motion of an object * Radiant energy: emitted by all objects with a temperature (T°) > 0° K = (-273°C) * follows the laws of thermodynamics * First Law of Thermodynamics: in all physical & chemical changes, energy is neither created nor destroyed, but it may be converted from one form to another (Law of Conservation of Energy) * Second Law of Thermodynamics: when energy is changed from one form to another, some of the useful energy is always degraded to lower-quality, more dispersed and less useful energy ** Properties of Radiant Energy or Radiation: * Light, heat, radio, X-rays, etc. all part of the electromagnetic spectrum or radiation * *all objects with a T°> 0°K emit radiation *amount of energy emitted dependent on T° **hotter object emits more total energy * Hotter the emitting body, the shorter the wavelength ** Sun's maximum energy is radiated at.5 micrometers & its T° = 6000°K = 5700 °C = 10,300 °F and this is called Shortwave (SW) radiation **Earth's maximum energy is radiated at10 micrometers & its T° = 300°K = 15 °C = 59 °F and this is called Longwave (LW) radiation SOLAR RADIATION: * also called shortwave (SW) radiation; ~.4 microns and smaller * visible light is in the wavelengths from .4 microns(violet) to .7 microns(red) * it travels in straight lines* *it may be scattered, reflected, absorbed, or go directly to the surface Scattering: particles in the atmosphere redirect the incoming solar radiation (SW) from its original path * Illuminates shadows and other dark areas, like a room * Gas molecules scatter blue and violet SW better than longer waves such as red or orange; affects sky color we see Reflection: process whereby a surface turns back a portion of the radiation that strikes it ** Law of Reflection: the angle on incidence (incoming) = angle of reflection (outgoing) * about 31% of incoming SW is reflected back to space ** Albedo: the % of solar radiation reflected off
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