Oct 06 2009
Chapter 3 Study Guide Question #6 — Describe the “fate” of most solar energy that reaches the Earth.
First of all, I apologize this post is so late! I totally understand if no one responds! Okay…I understand the different “forms” solar energy reaches the earth (electromagnetic waves–UV radiation, visible light, and heat or infrared radiation). I also understand that 95% of the harmful radiation from the sun is absorbed by the ozone layer. I am confused when our book states, “Of the total solar radiation intercepted by the earth, about 1% reaches the earth’s surface.” It seems like there is a 4% missing; I know it hasn’t gone “missing,” but where has this 4% of solar energy gone!? Does this 4% simply exist as light/heat in our atmosphere and never specifically reaches the earth’s surface by directly touching/making contact with land? I’m probably way over thinking all of the %, but if someone could correct me that would be awesome! Thanks, guys! Good luck with your studying tonight! =)