Solar Power

  • David J. Rose
Part of the Modern Perspectives in Energy book series (MPIE)


An observer from a distant star, if asked to describe the energy balance of the earth, would do so almost entirely in terms of sunlight incident, absorbed and reflected, and finally re-radiated to outer space at much longer wavelengths, in the infrared. The major terrestrial energy flows proceed through oceans, atmosphere, and the upper few meters of the continental lithosphere, and much less through the biosphere. All human activity now contributes little but, as shown in the analysis of global CO2 effects, it could potentially upset the reflective and reemissive properties of the earth enough so that the sun itself could drive the earth into a significantly different equilibrium.


Conversion Efficiency Wind Power Gross Primary Productivity Wind Farm American Physical Society 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. Rose
    • 1
  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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