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Holt Earth Science Chapter 17, Section 17.4

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Heating the Atmosphere A. What Happens to Incoming Solar Radiation? When radiation strikes an object, 3 things happen: some of the energy is absorbed by the object (converted to heat+temperature rises), some substances (water+air) are transparent to certain radiation wavelengths + transmit energy, and some radiation is bounced off the object without absorption/transmission. Reflection + scattering are responsible for redirected solar radiation. Out of the total solar radiation from the sun, 50% is absorbed by the land/sea, 20% is absorbed by the atmosphere/clouds, 5% is reflected from the land/sea surface, 5% is backscattered to space by the atmosphere, 20% is reflected by the clouds (in total, 30% is lost to space by reflection/scattering). B. Reflection and Scattering

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