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Unformatted text preview: 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 Earths surface processes, ranging from wind systems to the cycle of evaporation and precipitation. Energy Pathways -Earths 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) 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% Earths average albedo is 31%...
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course GEOG 102 taught by Professor Mccloskey during the Fall '08 term at The University of British Columbia.
- Fall '08