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Jessica Hernandez

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Read the pre-assignment PDF file – 'Earth's Energy Balance' before attempting this assignment. Type your Response. After completion, save this WORD file as PDF and upload it on Blackboard by the due date.

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Q1. Examine the ﬁgure below and type your response to the following questions. !
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The graphic below illustrates the Earth's energy balance. On average, every square meter of
the Earth's surface receives 342 Watts of solar energy per second. The left side of the
diagram shows the movement and interaction of incoming solar energy (shown with
yellow shading) with the earth's surface and atmosphere. [Note: Small black arrows
pointing down towards the earth's surface show incoming energy while the arrows pointing up
show the energy reﬂected by earth]. As you follow the sunbeam down, note that some of the
solar energy is reﬂected back to the space from the Earth's atmosphere and surface. The rest
gets absorbed by the atmosphere and the earth's surface and is converted to heat. The middle
portion of the diagram illustrates how Earth loses heat via evaporation (Latent Heat) and direct
heat transfer (e.g., warm air rise via Thermals). The right side of the diagram indicates the
outgoing energy from the Earth in form of longwave (aka infrared) radiation (shown with
shaded color). In summary, the Earth's surface loses heat to the atmosphere via convection,
evaporation, and radiation. Earth's atmosphere re-radiates much of this heat back to the earth's
surface. !
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Examine the graphic below. Assume the total energy arriving at the top of the
Earth atmosphere is 342 Watt, which is equal to 100% !
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Question: What percentage of incoming energy is reﬂected by the Earth's surface and
atmosphere?!
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Answer: The diagram suggest that Earth surface reﬂect 30 Watts and Atmosphere reﬂects 77
Watts. Thus adding these two gives 107 Watts. To ﬁnd percentage, divide 107 by 342 and then
multiply the result by 100. The answer is 31.3%. In other words, the Earth's surface and
atmosphere reﬂect ~ 31% of the incoming solar energy.!
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Using the above example as a guide, answer the following questions.!
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a. What percentage of incoming solar radiation is reﬂected by the Earth's surface only? !
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9 %!
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b. What percentage of incoming solar radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere? !
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20 % !
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c. What percentage of incoming solar radiation is absorbed by the Earth's surface? !
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49 % !
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Now, let's focus on the middle portion of the diagram. !
The graphic on the previous page suggests that the Earth's surface absorbs 161 Watts of solar
energy, which is converted into heat. The Earth must eventually lose this heat to maintain the
energy balance. !
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d.
What percentage of incoming energy absorbed by the Earth's surface (168 Watts) is
released back to the atmosphere due to evapotranspiration !
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23 %!
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Now, take a look at the right side of the diagram. You can see that the Earth's surface emits 390 Watts of energy in form of Longwave radiation. Of this amount, Atmosphere retains 350 Watts and the remaining 40-Watts escape directly into the outer space. !

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e.
What percentage of outgoing energy from the Earth's surface (i.e., in form of Longwave
radiation) is redirected back to its surface by the Atmosphere? !
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83 %!
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f. Explain what process is at work that is responsible for redirecting the longwave radiation from the atmosphere back to the Earth's surface.!

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-Green house gases !
The process is the green house
effect,which is responsible for
energy emitted back from earths
warm earths surface and
atmosphere.!
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The ﬁgure (on the right) illustrates how greenhouse effect works. The ﬁgure shows the effectiveness of selected gases in absorbing incoming short short-wave radiation (left side of graphic) and outgoing long-wave radiation (right side of graphic). The vertical thickness of light blue areas represents the percentage of radiation absorbed by these gases. !

1. Is water vapor a good or bad absorber of long-wave radiation? !

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2. Is nitrogen a good or bad absorber of incoming solar radiation? !

! Good absorber !

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3. Which gas is most effective in absorbing outgoing radiation emitted by Earth? !

! Co2 carbon dioxide!

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4. Which two gases block incoming Ultraviolet radiation from the Sun? !

! O2 oxygen and ozone O3 !

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The ﬁgure on right shows the monthly temperature curves for two cities, A and B that are located at approximately 30 o N latitude. On any date, both cities receive the same intensity and duration of solar radiation. Refer to this ﬁgure to answer the following.!

1. Which city has the highest and

lowest monthly mean temperature? !

! City B highest and City A

! lowest !

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2. Which city has the greatest annual temperature range (i.e., the difference between highest and

lowest monthly mean temperatures)? !

! City B !

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3. Which city maintains more uniform temperatures throughout the year and what could be the reason for that??!

! City A !

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The graphic below shows monthly temperatures for two cities in South America. Examine this graphic carefully and answer the following questions.!

1. What is the average monthly difference in temperature between these cities (provide your answer in o C). (To ﬁnd the average difference, estimate the temperature difference for each month, add them together, and then divide the result by 12.!

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Average is 22.75 ~ 23 degrees Celsius is the difference !

2. As you can tell from the graphic, La Paz is located at high altitudes in the Andes while Concepción is at the sea level. Using the normal Lapse rate (as described in the pre- assignment reading); calculate the altitude of La Paz (in meters above the sea level).!

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3,538 meters is the altitude of La Paz above sea level!

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The graphic below shows monthly temperatures for Eureka (California) and New York
City. Both cities are on the same latitude and both are coastal cities as well. And yet,
they have quite different distributions of monthly temperature. The term 'Windward' on
the graphic refers to the fact that Eureka experience winds that blow from the ocean
onto the land. Conversely, the term 'Leeward' means that the winds blow from land onto
the ocean.!
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1. What is the annual range in monthly temperatures for New York? !
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24 degrees celsius !
2. What is the annual range in monthly temperature for Eureka !
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7 degrees celsius !
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