# Topic 6: Insolation and the Seasons

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1 Topic 6: Insolation and the Seasons Solar Radiation and Insolation Insolation: In Sol ation The Sun is the primary source of energy for the earth. The rate at which energy is radiated is called Intensity of insolation is the relative strength of the sun's radiation that reaches a specific area of the Earth in a specific amount of time The most intense radiation that hits the earth from the sun is. However, 48 percent of the total energy received at the outer most part of outer atmosphere is infrared, a type of long wave radiation. 1

2 II. Effects of Earth's Atmosphere on Insolation 1. Absorption of ultra-violet and infrared Most of the ultraviolet energy is absorbed in a layer in our stratosphere called. This layer protects us from this harmful radiation (ultraviolet). Too much of the radiation can result in. Problems with ozone In the last 50 years populations of the world have depleted the ozone. Causes Effects Solutions Our atmosphere also absorbs infrared radiation. Three gases absorb infrared radiation 2

3 III. Reflection and scattering a. Clouds How much energy do you think clouds reflect back into space? b. Aerosols Definition: These reflect or scatter The Tindell affect: is seeing a beam of light in the air or in water. The energy is being scatter by aerosols. Examples of Aerosols and their sources: Aerosols Source 3

4 Using the diagram above answer the following questions How much sun is reflected by clouds? How much energy makes it to the earth s Surface? How much of the Earth s radiative energy goes back into space? How much energy is absorbed by the atmosphere? 4

5 IV. Balance of energy from insolation and earth's surface radiation About half of the insolation that strikes Earth's upper atmosphere reaches the surface (land and water) Some is reflected and some is absorbed This energy is converted into heat thus warming the temperature, But the surface also radiates energy especially at night cooling the surface But over time this incoming and outgoing energy balances Factors that affecting absorption and reflection of insolation Surface Characteristics 3. Change of state and transpiration 5

6 4. Land and Water Heating 6

7 V. The Greenhouse Effect Ultraviolet and Infrared 7

8 VI. Variation of Insolation 1. The Earth s Shape The latitude- 3. Effect of Seasonal Change 4. Effect of time of the Day 8

9 Variations in Duration of Insolation Definition: In the Northern Hemisphere: Longest Duration occurs on Shortest Duration occurs on 1. What happens to the duration of insolation (amount of day light) as you travel North on the summer solstice? 2. How much day light does 90 south receive on the summer solstice? 3. What is the duration of insolation for all latitudes on an equinox day? 4. What is the maximum duration of insolation for our latitude? 9

10 5. What is the minimum duration of insolation for our latitude? VII. Differences between maximum and minimum Insolation and Temperature When gain more energy than you lose -- temperatures increase. When you lose more than you gain temperatures decrease 10

11 VIII. Heat budget Is a result of the balance between the total amount of energy it receives and total energy it emits or loses. Long term changes in Earth's heat budget caused by Earth heating up of cooling off can result in climatic changes. a. Ice Ages Are we in an ice age now? Glacial Advances (cold periods) Interglacial (warm periods) 11

12 b. El Nino and La Nina Events El Nino Although originally named for a local warming of the ocean near the coast of Peru in South America, "El Niño" now refers to a sustained warming over a large part of the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. Combined with this warming are changes in the atmosphere that affect weather patterns across much of the Pacific Basin, including Australia. These altered weather patterns often help promote further warming of the ocean because of the changes they cause in ocean currents. 12

13 La Niña La Niña refers to the appearance of colder-than-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the central or eastern equatorial Pacific region (the opposite to conditions during El Niño). Many scientists do not like the use of this term and prefer to call it a cold event. 13

14 c. Global Warming a. There is a lot of debate between groups of scientist if this is an event. b. Most people will now agree that there may be a climate shift c. The question that is argued is what is causing the shift Here are some of the facts that have people concerned: Populations are increasing Industry is increasing in third world countries Large amounts of carbon dioxide is being added to the atmosphere Rainforest are being removed and not replaced Large glacial are melting at a greater rate today than in recorded history Cites building and growing, housing are expanding Causes of heat budget shifts 1. Changes in Solar Energy: 2. Changes in Earth's orbit and Axis Tilt: 3. Volcanic Eruptions and climate changes: 4. Human Causes: 14

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