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The Sun's Influence on Climate$
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Joanna D. Haigh and Peter Cargill

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153834

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153834.001.0001

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Solar Radiation at the Earth

Solar Radiation at the Earth

(p.66) 4 Solar Radiation at the Earth
The Sun's Influence on Climate

Joanna D. Haigh

Peter Cargill

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores how solar radiation is the climate's fundamental energy source. It considers the solar radiance at the top of the Earth's atmosphere, its variation with location and season, and its energy distribution within the climate system. Changes in the radiation balance are capable of influencing global surface temperature and may thus be involved in climate change. The chapter also investigates the radiative processes which influence the atmospheric temperature structure and some of the chemical processes, particularly those influenced by solar radiation, that determine atmospheric composition. To understand how variations in solar activity might affect climate it is necessary to look at the amount and distribution of solar energy reaching the Earth.

Keywords:   solar radiation, climate, energy source, Earth, atmosphere, surface temperature, solar energy

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