Some features of this site are not compatible with your browser. Install Opera Mini to better experience this site.

Net Radiation

Global Map Net Radiation Image 1 Global Map Net Radiation Image 2 Global Map Net Radiation Image 3 Global Map Net Radiation Image 4 Global Map Net Radiation Image 5 Global Map Net Radiation Image 6 Global Map Net Radiation Image 7 Global Map Net Radiation Image 8 Global Map Net Radiation Image 9 Global Map Net Radiation Image 10 Global Map Net Radiation Image 11 Global Map Net Radiation Image 12 Global Map Net Radiation Image 13 Global Map Net Radiation Image 14 Global Map Net Radiation Image 15 Global Map Net Radiation Image 16 Global Map Net Radiation Image 17 Global Map Net Radiation Image 18 Global Map Net Radiation Image 19 Global Map Net Radiation Image 20 Global Map Net Radiation Image 21 Global Map Net Radiation Image 22 Global Map Net Radiation Image 23 Global Map Net Radiation Image 24 Global Map Net Radiation Image 25 Global Map Net Radiation Image 26 Global Map Net Radiation Image 27 Global Map Net Radiation Image 28 Global Map Net Radiation Image 29 Global Map Net Radiation Image 30 Global Map Net Radiation Image 31 Global Map Net Radiation Image 32 Global Map Net Radiation Image 33 Global Map Net Radiation Image 34 Global Map Net Radiation Image 35 Global Map Net Radiation Image 36 Global Map Net Radiation Image 37 Global Map Net Radiation Image 38 Global Map Net Radiation Image 39 Global Map Net Radiation Image 40 Global Map Net Radiation Image 41 Global Map Net Radiation Image 42 Global Map Net Radiation Image 43 Global Map Net Radiation Image 44 Global Map Net Radiation Image 45 Global Map Net Radiation Image 46 Global Map Net Radiation Image 47 Global Map Net Radiation Image 48 Global Map Net Radiation Image 49 Global Map Net Radiation Image 50 Global Map Net Radiation Image 51 Global Map Net Radiation Image 52 Global Map Net Radiation Image 53 Global Map Net Radiation Image 54 Global Map Net Radiation Image 55 Global Map Net Radiation Image 56 Global Map Net Radiation Image 57 Global Map Net Radiation Image 58 Global Map Net Radiation Image 59 Global Map Net Radiation Image 60 Global Map Net Radiation Image 61 Global Map Net Radiation Image 62 Global Map Net Radiation Image 63 Global Map Net Radiation Image 64 Global Map Net Radiation Image 65 Global Map Net Radiation Image 66 Global Map Net Radiation Image 67 Global Map Net Radiation Image 68 Global Map Net Radiation Image 69 Global Map Net Radiation Image 70 Global Map Net Radiation Image 71 Global Map Net Radiation Image 72 Global Map Net Radiation Image 73 Global Map Net Radiation Image 74 Global Map Net Radiation Image 75 Global Map Net Radiation Image 76 Global Map Net Radiation Image 77 Global Map Net Radiation Image 78 Global Map Net Radiation Image 79 Global Map Net Radiation Image 80 Global Map Net Radiation Image 81 Global Map Net Radiation Image 82 Global Map Net Radiation Image 83 Global Map Net Radiation Image 84 Global Map Net Radiation Image 85 Global Map Net Radiation Image 86 Global Map Net Radiation Image 87 Global Map Net Radiation Image 88 Global Map Net Radiation Image 89 Global Map Net Radiation Image 90 Global Map Net Radiation Image 91 Global Map Net Radiation Image 92 Global Map Net Radiation Image 93 Global Map Net Radiation Image 94 Global Map Net Radiation Image 95 Global Map Net Radiation Image 96 Global Map Net Radiation Image 97 Global Map Net Radiation Image 98 Global Map Net Radiation Image 99 Global Map Net Radiation Image 100 Global Map Net Radiation Image 101 Global Map Net Radiation Image 102 Global Map Net Radiation Image 103 Global Map Net Radiation Image 104 Global Map Net Radiation Image 105 Global Map Net Radiation Image 106 Global Map Net Radiation Image 107 Global Map Net Radiation Image 108 Global Map Net Radiation Image 109 Global Map Net Radiation Image 110 Global Map Net Radiation Image 111 Global Map Net Radiation Image 112 Global Map Net Radiation Image 113 Global Map Net Radiation Image 114 Global Map Net Radiation Image 115 Global Map Net Radiation Image 116 Global Map Net Radiation Image 117 Global Map Net Radiation Image 118 Global Map Net Radiation Image 119 Global Map Net Radiation Image 120 Global Map Net Radiation Image 121 Global Map Net Radiation Image 122 Global Map Net Radiation Image 123 Global Map Net Radiation Image 124 Global Map Net Radiation Image 125 Global Map Net Radiation Image 126 Global Map Net Radiation Image 127 Global Map Net Radiation Image 128 Global Map Net Radiation Image 129 Global Map Net Radiation Image 130 Global Map Net Radiation Image 131 Global Map Net Radiation Image 132 Global Map Net Radiation Image 133 Global Map Net Radiation Image 134 Global Map Net Radiation Image 135 Global Map Net Radiation Image 136 Global Map Net Radiation Image 137 Global Map Net Radiation Image 138 Global Map Net Radiation Image 139 Global Map Net Radiation Image 140 Global Map Net Radiation Image 141 Global Map Net Radiation Image 142
Net Radiation
Net Radiation Scale

Earth's net radiation, sometimes called net flux, is the balance between incoming and outgoing energy at the top of the atmosphere. It is the total energy that is available to influence the climate. Energy comes in to the system when sunlight penetrates the top of the atmosphere. Energy goes out in two ways: reflection by clouds, aerosols, or the Earth's surface; and thermal radiation—heat emitted by the surface and the atmosphere, including clouds. The global average net radiation must be close to zero over the span of a year or else the average temperature will rise or fall.

These maps show monthly net radiation in watts per square meter. Places where the amounts of incoming and outgoing energy were in balance are white. Places where more energy was coming in than going out (positive net radiation) are orange. Places where more energy was going out than coming in (negative net radiation) are purple. The measurements were made by the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) sensors on NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites.

Over the course of a year, the most obvious pattern is seasonal changes in net radiation. Incoming sunlight increases in the hemisphere experiencing summer, which makes the energy imbalance strongly positive (more watts of energy coming in than going out). As the September equinox approaches, a zone of positive net radiation is nearly centered over the equator, and energy deficits lie over the poles. As the season changes into winter, the net radiation becomes negative across much of the Northern Hemisphere and positive in the Southern Hemisphere. The pattern reverses on the March equinox.

Averaged over the year, there is a net energy surplus at the equator and a net energy deficit at the poles. This equator-versus-pole energy imbalance is the fundamental driver of atmospheric and oceanic circulation.

View, download, or analyze more of these data from NASA Earth Observations (NEO):
Net Radiation