Lecture 2: Radiation/Heat in the atmosphere

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1 Lecture 2: Radiation/Heat in the atmosphere

2 TEMPERATURE is a measure of the internal heat energy of a substance. The molecules that make up all matter are in constant motion. By internal heat energy, we really mean this random molecular motion. Molecular motion is therefore the reason any substance has a temperature. The more the molecules that make up a substance move, the the higher its temperature.

3 Temperature Scales

4 HEAT TRANSFER can be accomplished through four means: (1) Conduction: fast-moving molecules of substance 1 collide with neighboring molecules of substance 2, which are moving more slowly. This forces the molecules of substance 2 to speed up. Substance 2 becomes hotter as a result of its physical contact with substance 1. This form of heat transfer often occurs between the atmosphere and the earth s surface and is also known as sensible heat flux.

5 HEAT TRANSFER can be accomplished through four means: (2) Phase changes: A liquid evaporates into an overlying gas, a process which requires energy and therefore removes heat from the liquid. This also occurs often between the atmosphere and earth s surface and is known as latent heat flux. The dryness of the desert surface means it can t cool through latent heat flux and therefore must cool almost exclusively through sensible heat flux. The inefficient ventilation of the desert surface is the reason the deserts are so hot.

6 HEAT TRANSFER can be accomplished through four means: (3) Convection: Typically occurs when a liquid or gas is heated from below. The heated portion becomes lighter and rises, being replaced by heavier, and cooler liquid or gas. This redistribution of heat occurs in both the atmosphere and the ocean.

7 HEAT TRANSFER can be accomplished through four means: (4) Radiation: The radiation emanating from substance 1 encounters substance 2, which absorbs the radiation. The absorbed radiation heats substance 2.

8 RADIATION (Electromagnetic waves) is an wave that moves through space at a constant speed: ~300,000,000 m/s (photons) This wave is analogous to the ripples on a pond that propagate when the pond s surface is disturbed by a rock. The difference is that instead of waves of water propagating through space, radiation involves waves of an electromagnetic field. Radiation comes in many forms... sunlight microwaves heat from a fire radio waves ultraviolet rays x-rays gamma rays

9 The various forms of radiation are distinguished by their wavelength, the distance between successive crests of the wave. (a) has a long wavelength (b) has a short wavelength The longer the wavelength, the less energetic, so that (a) is less energetic than (b).

10 Wavelength, Frequency, Wavenumber Frequency ~ ν = cycles per sec (cps, 1 GHz = 10 9 cps) Wavelength λ = c / ~ ν (1 cm = 30 GHz) Wavenumber ν = 1/ λ Velocity of light ~ 3 x 10 8 m/sec

11 The various forms of radiation are organized according to their wavelengths (and hence energy levels), creating the electromagnetic spectrum. 1GHz =10 9 Hz Visible light 1 nm =10-3 μm

12 Energy Units Energy Joule (J) Flux (Power) J/sec (Watt, W) Flux Density J/sec/m 2 (W/m 2 ) Intensity (Radiance) J/sec/m 2 /sterad (pencil of radiation) Steradian (solid angle) = A/D 2 = area/distance 2

13 All objects constantly emit radiation according to their temperature and wavelength. Objects that emit with 100% efficiency are called blackbodies, and have a distribution of wavelengths of emitted radiation given by the Planck function (Planck law), which has a characteristic shape: This curve is for an object with a temperature of about 5800 K, the approximate temperature of the sun s surface.

14 the distribution s peak wavelength... is inversely proportional to the temperature of the object (=2898/T, μm). The hotter the object, the shorter the typical emission wavelengths

15 The total energy emitted by the object is the area under the curve... and is proportional to the fourth power of the object s temperature (=σt 4 ). This relationship is known as the Stefan-Boltzmann law. So the energy emitted increases very quickly as the object s temperature increases.

16 The wavelength distributions of the radiation emitted by the sun and the Earth are very different, because the sun is so much hotter than the Earth. The Planck functions for temperatures characteristic of the sun and the Earth. The peak wavelength of the sun s distribution is at about 0.5 μm (green light), while the peak wavelength for the earth s distribution is at about 10 μm (infrared radiation).

17 Because there is little overlap in wavelength between the radiation emitted by the Earth and the radiation emitted by the Sun, almost all light in the Earth s atmosphere with a wavelength less than 5 μm is solar in origin, and is known as solar (shortwave) radiation. At the same time, almost all light in the earth s atmosphere with a wavelength greater than 5 μm comes from the Earth-atmosphere and is called terrestrial (longwave) radiation.

18 The total flux of energy transferred from one object to another varies according to the distance between the two objects. This relationship is known as the inverse-square law. Flux density is proportional to 1/d 2 We expect the solar energy a planet receives to decrease as the distance from the sun increases.

19 The radiation flux can also vary because of the angle between the surface intercepting the radiation and the direction of the radiation s propagation. The more oblique the angle, the less energy is absorbed. This is one reason the poles receive less energy than the equator.

20 The earth also reflects solar radiation. The reflectivity or albedo of the earth is about 0.3, meaning that about 30% of the incoming solar flux is reflected back to space. Certain regions are typically much more reflective than others (clouds, ice/snow, and desert).

21 The incoming radiation from the Sun (upper left) is of different wavelengths and is partially absorbed by atmospheric molecules. The portion not absorbed by the atmosphere is dominantly visible radiation (lower left) that warms Earth's surface, and the warmed Earth emits heat radiation (lower right). Some of the latter is absorbed in the troposphere by water and carbon dioxide, thus retaining the heat there. Other gases, mostly emitted from human activities, absorb some of the transmitted radiation in the lower stratosphere. The remainder escapes to space. All absorbing gases are termed greenhouse gases and render some 33 C warmer than it would otherwise be without them.

22 The annual mean global energy balance for the Earth-atmosphere system. Latent heat is that heat supplied to the atmosphere upon condensation of water vapor. The numbers are per-centages of the energy from the incoming solar radiation.

23 Fig The heat balance of the earth and the atmosphere system. The solar (SOL) constant used is 1366 W m 2 so that the incoming solar flux for climatological energy balance is 342 W m 2 (round off the decimal point), while the global albedo is taken to be 30%. The atmosphere referred to in the graph contains molecules, aerosols, and clouds. The atmospheric thermal infrared (IR) flux is emitted both upward and downward. The upward IR flux from the surface is computed by using a climatological surface temperature of 288 K. At the top of the atmosphere, the energy is balanced by radiative flux exchange. At the surface, however, upward sensible and latent heat fluxes must be introduced to maintain energy balance. Absorption of the solar flux is obtained from the divergence of net solar fluxes at the top and the surface. The width of the shaded area with an arrow is approximately proportional to the flux value.

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