Environmental Science 101
Solar Environment and Interactions Study Guide
After the "Solar Environment and Interactions" lecture and readings you should be able to answer and discuss the following questions.
What is the physical basis for a year?
How long is a year?
What is the average distance from the Earth to the Sun?
What is the physical basis for a day?
How long is a day?
What is the Earth's current axial tilt?
How is axial tilt measured?
What is the plane of the ecliptic?
What is precession?
How long does it take the Earth's axis to make one complete precession?
How many years does it take the Earth's axis to precess one degree?
What causes seasons?
What are the two factors which control the change of seasons?
Which events mark the beginning and end of a season?
What is insolation?
What percentage of incoming solar radiation from the Sun is visible radiation?
What fraction of all incoming solar radiation is reflected back into space?
At what radiation band is solar radiation most intense?
What are the forms of outgoing radiation?
Which components of the Earth’s atmosphere block outgoing radiation?
What is meant by a Global Radiation Balance?
If more radiation is received than is lost, what are the results to Earth's climate?
If more radiation is lost than is received, what are the results to Earth's climate?
Define the terms in regards to insolation: albedo, absorption, transmission, redirection, reflection, and scattering.
Define and describe the greenhouse effect.
Describe the path of incoming solar radiation in terms of reflection and absorption.
Describe the path of longwave energy flow within the Earth's atmosphere.
Where on the Earth's surface is most of the solar energy received?
Where on the Earth's surface is most of the longwave energy lost to space?