Earth’s Albedo, Radiative Forcing and Climate Change
Albedo is defined as the degree of reflectivity of a substance. Albedo values are given for common Earth substances. Radiative forcing of the climate system is introduced and the relative forcings by principal substances are given. Earth’s energy is received mainly from the Sun and is received at the top of the atmosphere. This solar radiation cascades through the atmosphere which acts as a transparent window through which most of the radiation is allowed to pass. The Sun radiates energy as a blackbody that appears very bright due to its very high temperature. Most matter acts as a blackbody and radiates energy dependent on its temperature. The Earth’s moon is a relatively low temperature blackbody and we see its radiation as moonlight. The changing climate (global warming) is due mainly to the cascading energy scenario but the climate is also responsive to energy within the Earth.
KeywordsClouds Albedo Reflectivity Radiative Forcing Fourier GTP Temperature Terawatts Contrails Blackbody Deforestation Orographic rainfall
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