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SEPT17TH102 - Geography 102 Week 3 SURFACE ENERGY BALANCES...

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Geography 102, Week 3 17/09/2007 18:08:00 September 17, 2007 SURFACE ENERGY BALANCES Global Energy System: -The flow of energy from the Sun to Earth is complex and involves not only  radiant energy flow, but also energy storage and transport. -Solar energy is the ultimate power source for the Earth’s surface processes,  ranging from wind systems to the cycle of evaporation and precipitation. Energy Pathways -Earth’s atmosphere and surface are heated by solar energy which is unevenly  distributed by latitude and which fluctuates seasonally. Refer to diagram 4.1 in textbook Transmission and Scattering Transmission: the passage of shortwave and longwave energy either through the  atmosphere or water. -Gases and dust in the atmosphere interact with insolation leading to scattering =  a redirection of electromagnetic radiation without changing its wavelength. -Shorter wavelengths are scattered more easily than longer wavelengths (reason  for BLUE sky   blue is easily scattered)
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Refraction -the “bending” of insolation as it passes from one medium to another (i.e. from  space to atmosphere to water) -responsible for rainbows and mirages Reflection:  energy redirected back into space without being absorbed. Albedo:  proportion of shortwave radiant energy that is reflected upward by a  surface. -for example: a surface reflection 40% of the shortwave energy has an Albedo of  0.40 HIGH ALBEDO: i.e. fresh snow (0.80-0.95) LOW ALBEDO i.e. black pavement (0.05-0.10) Percentage of energy reflected back as Albedo:  Snow – 80-95% Grass- 25-30% Forest 10%-20% Earth’s average albedo is 31%
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