SOLAR RADIATION: How Sunlight Heats the Planet

Last Updated: March 20, 2019

Solar Radiation

Our sun is 99% of the total mass of the solar system. It’s this healthy dose of solar energy that heats up our planet.

The balance of Earth’s temperature relies on how much energy enters and leaves the planet’s system.

When incoming energy from the sun is absorbed by the Earth system, Earth warms. When the sun’s energy is reflected back into space, Earth avoids warming.

When absorbed energy is released back into space, Earth cools. Natural and human causes can influence Earth’s energy balance.

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