Physics of the Earth System Lecture 7 of 18

June 5, 2012 by Adrian Tompkins

A. Tompkins, ICTP

Lesson number 7 (A.Tompkins)

Introduction to radiation and radiation processes

In the first part of the lesson the teacher explains that this part of the course will consist in an overview of the fundamentals of the physics of the atmosphere with a focus on cloud physics and radiation. This has the purpose of explaining the basic physics in climate models for a better understanding of the models that are used in climate change studies and weather forecast.

The first subject of the lesson is the radiation budget, with a focus on the solar radiation absorbed by earth-atmosphere system and the redistribution of energy by large-scale dynamical motions. Then the description of the atmospheric vertical structure is given. Related topics are the atmosperic gases, the atmospheric water vapour distribution, the carbon dioxide trends and the relation with clouds/atmospheric processes. In the second part of the lesson the teacher goes back to radiation and radiation processes, defining the electro-magnetic spectrum, the black body, the Planck function, the Stepha-Boltzmann law, and energy balance models of the atmosphere.

Energy Balance of Earth

Scheme of radiation balance

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