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Earth’s Energy Balance. The role of the Sun and atmosphere in establishing Earth’s surface temperature. Energy Flow. To solve a crime you “follow the money”; to understand many environmental problems, “follow the energy.” Energy changes form but the total amount is always conserved.

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## Earth’s Energy Balance

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**Earth’s Energy Balance**The role of the Sun and atmosphere in establishing Earth’s surface temperature**Energy Flow**To solve a crime you “follow the money”; to understand many environmental problems, “follow the energy.” • Energy changes form but the total amount is always conserved. • Energy eventually “degrades” into heat. • A place reaches a higher temperature when energy spends more time there—but just as much energy is always emitted as is absorbed.**Solar Activity**• Sunspot number measures of solar activity. • Sun is actually brighter when more active. • In Maunder Minimum (shortly after Galileo) Sun was less active and Earth was cooler.**Solar Variations and Climate**Most climatologists’ models conclude solar variations alone cannot explain current amount of warming.**Earth Radiation Budget Experiment**What comes out must go in**The Carbon Cycle**• The Earth is a closed system for carbon • Recycling of carbon takes place on many different time scales.**Carbon Dioxide History**Pollutants are causing changes in trace molecules

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