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Friday, January 28, 2011

Longwave radiation and Shortwave Radiation

Hello people! I seriously don't think I'm able to write as much as Sylvia so at least you all get to read something short and sweet.
Shortwave Radiation
This isn’t in the notes
Shortwave radiation is basically radiant energy (light) in the visible, near infrared and near ultraviolet spectrum. Some of this shortwave radiation which enters the Earth is reflected to space in the end due to various means of reflection, with the others being absorbed by the surface or other things as shown in the diagram below. (The shortwave radiation is labeled with red arrows.)
The Earth-Atmosphere Energy Balance
Longwave Radiation
Longwave radiation is energy leaving the Earth as infrared energy. Although the surface of the Earth emits a large amount of longwave energy, only around 5% is directly lost to space, with the majority being absorbed by greenhouse gases and being converted to heat energy which is then emitted as atmospheric longwave radiation, resulting in the greenhouse effect. The atmospheric longwave radiation emission is split into 2 categories with 40% being lost to space, and the other 60% being transmitted to the Earth’s surface where it is absorbed and becomes heat energy. (Refer to diagram above for specific details.)


  1. If longwave light is infrared and shortwave light is visible light then what is ultraviolet light? Ultra short light frequency?

  2. This is not a very constructive comment but, I like how the cloud that represents greenhouse effect and the long-wave radiation going back to earth is a dark cloud.

    What we're doing to the earth is a bad bad baaad thing and we really need to stop emitting greenhouse gases! Or if we can't stop since it's already such a big part of our lives, CUT DOWN!

    What's sad is most humans fail to see the importance of stopping global warming, or they just simply do not care. After watching the video that Miss Dyer showed us in class the other day, the imprint of the graph that shows the degree with which the world is deteriorating today compared to the past is still stuck vividly in my head. It's scary, knowing that the earth is really dying and we're still not doing anything significant enough to curb global warming. The dead can't come back to life! And people should really get that into their heads.

    But I guess all I'm really saying is we should take more public transport, recycle, and if possible PLANT A TREE AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR, on our birthday. Doing the last item is pretty cool as well, if you ask me.

    Cherie Chang (05)