Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Atmospheric RadiationTheoretical Basis$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

R. M. Goody and Y. L. Yung

Print publication date: 1989

Print ISBN-13: 9780195051346

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195051346.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 December 2021

Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Introduction
Source:
Atmospheric Radiation
Author(s):

R. M. Goody

Y. L. Yung

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780195051346.003.0003

Earth, like the other inner planets, receives virtually all of its energy from space in the form of solar electromagnetic radiation. Its total heat content does not vary significantly with time, indicating a close overall balance between absorbed solar radiation and the diffuse stream of low-temperature, thermal radiation emitted by the planet. The transformation of the incident solar radiation into scattered and thermal radiation, and the thermodynamic consequences for the earth’s gaseous envelope, are the subjects of this book. The scope must be narrowed, however, because in its broadest interpretation our title could include atmospheric photochemistry and many other topics usually treated in books dealing with the upper atmosphere. By restricting attention to the thermodynamic aspects, this problem of selection usually resolves itself. For example, the absorption of energy accompanying photodissociation or photoionization will be considered if the energy involved is comparable to that of other sources or sinks, but not otherwise. Similarly, the oxygen airglow has some thermodynamic consequences in the upper atmosphere, but the important topic of the airglow will be mentioned only in this limited context. The irradiance at mean solar distance—the solar constant—is slightly less than 1400 Wm-2, giving an average flux of solar energy per unit area of the earth’s surface equal to 350 W m-2 (the factor 4 is the ratio of surface area to cross section for a sphere). Of this energy, approximately 31% is scattered back into space, 43% is absorbed at the earth's surface, and 26% is absorbed by the atmosphere. The ratio of outward to inward flux of solar radiation is known as the albedo. We may speak of the albedo of the entire earth or of individual surfaces with reference either to monochromatic radiation or to a weighted average whole is about 0.31, and an average of 224 Wm-2 is available for heating, directly and indirectly, the earth and its atmosphere. The redistribution of this absorbed solar energy by dynamic and radiative processes and its ultimate return to space as low-temperature planetary or terrestrial radiation are the most important topics of this book.

Keywords:   Airglow, Biological processes, Carbon dioxide, Diabatic heating, Emission temperature, Hydrogen, Industrial processes, Mesosphere, Nitrous oxide, Photochemical origin

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .