insolation = incoming solar radiation

The atmosphere is an open energy system receiving energy from both the sun and the earth.

Incoming radiation from the sun is short wave, outgoing radiation is long wave.

The sun's energy drives all weather systems and climates. Most is absorbed in tropical latitudes and redistributed to polar latitudes.


natural vs. enhanced greenhouse effect

The greenhouse effect is a natural process that enables life to exist on earth. However, human activity is increasing the natural process, warming the climate and contributing to global warming and climate change.



Earth's Atmospheric energy balance

Click to enlarge



  1. Make notes on the information above
  2. Read pp 52-54 [Core Book] 
  3. Answer q a - c p 54
  4. EXTRA: Create a narrated animation describing and explaining the atmospheric energy budget using Explain Everything


141-146 Patterns and Change Book (Guinness)