This unique addition to reference literature provides an introduction to the major concepts and contemporary issues that are essential for students of environmental science and environmental studies to know. With over 200 entries authored by world-class names like Anthony Brazel, John Day and Edward Keller, this text is divided into six sections: Environmental Science, Environments, Paradigms & Concepts, Processes & Dynamics, Scales & Techniques, and Environmental Issues.  

Solar Radiation

Solar radiation

Solar radiation is radiant energy emitted by the Sun as electromagnetic energy.

Generally about one-half of the radiation is in the visible short-wave part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The other half is mostly in the near-infrared part, with some in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum. Solar radiation is measured with a pyranometer or pyrheliometer. The average energy density of solar radiation just above the Earth's atmosphere is about 1367W/m2 – the solar constant (Fig. 55). The Earth receives a total amount of radiation determined by its cross-section, but as the planet rotates, this energy is distributed across the entire surface area. Therefore the average incoming solar radiation (or insolation) is one quarter of the solar constant or ~342 W/m2. The amount received at ...

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