THE INCREASE OF greenhouse gas concentrations in the Earths atmosphere, above natural levels, is causing anthropogenic changes to Earth's climate. The temperature at the Earth's surface has shown a significant and rapid rise since the 1990s, compared to the past two millennia. It is challenge for scientists to attribute these known changes to specific mechanisms. Some of the complex feedback processes that add to these changes are not fully understood.

The energy balance, the distribution of energy in space (or Earth's atmosphere), and temporal energy variations characterize the Earth's climate system. The Earth's radiative energy balance is governed by the balance between solar radiation and absorption by the Earth and subsequent radiation from the Earth to outer space. The Earth absorbs solar shortwave radiation in the ...

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