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Net Radiation & Cloud Fraction

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
Cloud Fraction
Cloud Fraction Scale
Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 1 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 2 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 3 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 4 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 5 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 6 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 7 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 8 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 9 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 10 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 11 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 12 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 13 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 14 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 15 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 16 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 17 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 18 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 19 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 20 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 21 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 22 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 23 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 24 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 25 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 26 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 27 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 28 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 29 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 30 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 31 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 32 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 33 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 34 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 35 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 36 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 37 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 38 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 39 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 40 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 41 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 42 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 43 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 44 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 45 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 46 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 47 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 48 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 49 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 50 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 51 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 52 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 53 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 54 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 55 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 56 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 57 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 58 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 59 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 60 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 61 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 62 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 63 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 64 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 65 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 66 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 67 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 68 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 69 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 70 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 71 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 72 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 73 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 74 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 75 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 76 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 77 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 78 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 79 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 80 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 81 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 82 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 83 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 84 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 85 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 86 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 87 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 88 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 89 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 90 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 91 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 92 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 93 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 94 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 95 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 96 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 97 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 98 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 99 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 100 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 101 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 102 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 103 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 104 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 105 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 106 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 107 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 108 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 109 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 110 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 111 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 112 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 113 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 114 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 115 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 116 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 117 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 118 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 119 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 120 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 121 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 122 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 123 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 124 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 125 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 126 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 127 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 128 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 129 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 130 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 131 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 132 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 133 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 134 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 135 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 136 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 137 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 138 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 139 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 140 Global Map Cloud Fraction Image 141 Global Map Cloud Fraction 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Earth's climate, including its average surface temperature, depends on the balance between incoming and outgoing energy. 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 balance between incoming and outgoing energy is called net flux. Clouds can influence net flux in many ways. They reflecting incoming sunlight, and they also absorb heat energy emitted by the surface of the Earth.

The map of net flux shows monthly changes in the balance of incoming and outgoing energy on Earth as measured by the Clouds and the Earth Radiant Energy System (CERES) sensor on NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites. Places where the amounts of incoming and outgoing energy were in balance are white. Places where more energy was coming in than going out (energy surplus) are orange. Places where less energy was coming in than going out (energy deficit) are purple.

The cloud maps show what fraction of an area was cloudy on average for the month. The measurements were collected by the MODIS sensors on NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites. Colors range from blue (no clouds) to white (totally cloudy).

While net flux shows a very obvious seasonal pattern, global cloudiness is much more variable from month to month. The part of the planet where net flux is positive (that is, more energy coming in than going out) shifts north of the equator beginning with the March equinox and south of the equator with the September equinox, coinciding with spring and summer in the respective hemispheres. A broad band of clouds around the equator shifts slightly north and south with the seasons, but across the rest of the globe, seasonal cloud patterns are less obvious.

One connection between net flux and cloudiness that is shown by these maps is the impact on net flux of marine-layer clouds that often form off the west coasts of continents. Clouds reflect much more incoming sunlight than ocean waters, and this difference in brightness is very obvious at certain times of year. For example, from September through December, when the area exposed to direct sunlight is increasing in the Southern Hemisphere, patches of ocean to the west of South America and Africa are persistently cloudy. These cloudy patches are mirrored by pockets of yellow (more neutral net flux) surrounded by red (strongly positive net flux).

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