Development in Earth Science (DES)

Editor-in-Chief: Maofa Ge
Frequency: Continuous Publication
ISSN Online: 2332-3930
ISSN Print: 2332-3922
Paper Infomation

Earth’s Energy Balance for Clear, Cloudy and All-Sky Conditions

Full Text(PDF, 342KB)

Author: Antero Ollila

Abstract: The researchers have published several studies on the radiation fluxes based on measurement data banks and radiative transfer models. The author has used available flux values and different methods to obtain the total of Earth’s energy balances for clear, cloudy and all-skies. The calculation methods include balance equations, spectral calculations and the cloudiness factor in combining energy fluxes of three sky conditions. A new idea has been introduced that the surface albedo flux is partially absorbed in cloudy conditions, as with incoming shortwave radiation. The atmospheric albedo fluxes have been calculated separately for cloud reflection and air particles. Also the atmospheric absorption has been divided into cloud and clear air absorption fluxes.

Keywords: Earth’s Energy Balance; Clear Sky; Cloudy Sky; All-Sky


[1] Ackerman, T.P., Flynn, D.M., and Marchland, R.T.. “Quantifying the magnitude of anomalous solar absorption.” Journal of Geophysical Research 108 (2003): 4273-4289.

[2] Ackerman, T.P., and Stokes, G. “The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program.” Physics Today Jan (2003): 39-44.

[3] Ahrens, Donald, and Samson, Perry. Extreme Weather and Climate. USA: Cengage Learning, 2010.

[4] Bellouin, N., Boucher, O., Haywood, J., and Shekar Reddy, M. “Global estimate of aerosol direct radiative forcing from satellite measurement.” Nature 438 (2003): 1138-1141.

[5] Bodas-Salcedo, A., Ringer, M., and Jones, A. “Evaluation of surface radiation budget in the atmospheric component of the Hadley Centre global environmental model (HadGEM1).” Journal of Climate 21 (2008): 4723-4748.

[6] Costa, S.M..S, and Shine, K. “Outgoing longwave radiation due to directly transmitted surface emission.” Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 69 (2012): 1865-1870.

[7] Davies, Roger, and Molloy, Matthew. “Global cloud height fluctuations measured by MISR on Terra from 2000 to 2010.” Geophysical Research Letters 39 (2012): L03701. Accessed December 2012. Doi:10.1029/2011GL050506.

[8] Ellingson, R.G., Ellis, J., and Fels, S. “The intercomparison of radiation codes used in climate models.” Journal of Geophysical Research 96 (1991): 8929-8953.

[9] EPA. “The graphical presentation of sea water temperature trend 1880-2012.” Accessed July 2013. http://www.

[10] Gats Inc. “Spectral calculations tool.” Accessed November 2012.

[11] Hitran database. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Accessed November 2012. HITRAN/.

[12] ISCCP. “International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project. Cloud Data & Products.” Accessed January 2013.

[13] Kiehl, Jeffrey, and Trenberth, Kevin. “Earth’s Annual Global Mean Energy Budget.” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 78 (1997): 197-208.

[14] Kondratyev, K.Y., Binenko, V.I., and Melnikova, I.N. “Absorption of solar radiation by clouds and aerosols in the visible wavelength region.” Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics 65 (1998): 1-10.

[15] Loeb, N.G., Wielicki, B.A., Doelling, D.R., Smith, G.L., Keyes, D.F., Kato, S., Manalo-Smith, N., and Wong, T. “Toward Optimal Closure of the Earth’s Top-of-Atmosphere Radiation Budget.” Journal of Climate 22 (2009): 748-766.

[16] Loehle, Craig. “Cooling of the global ocean since 2003.” Energy & Environment 20 No. 1&2 (2009): 101-104.

[17] McCartney, E.J. Optics of the Atmosphere: Scattering by molecules and particles. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1976.

[18] Miskolczi, Ferenc, and Mlynczak, Martin. “The greenhouse effect and the spectral decomposition of the clear-sky terrestrial radiation.” Idojaras 108 (2004): 209-251.

[19] Miscolczi, Ferenc. “Greenhouse effect and IR radiative structure of Earth’s atmosphere.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 7 (2010): 1-28. Accessed November 2010. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph70x000x.

[20] Miskolczi, Ferenc. “The stable stationary value of the earth’s global average atmospheric Planck-weighted greenhouse -gas optical thickness.” Energy & Environment 21 (2010): 243-262.

[21] Ollila, Antero. “The roles of greenhouse gases in global warming.” Energy & Environment 23 (2012): 781-799.

[22] Pinty, B., Lattanzio, A., Martonchik, J.V., Verstraete, M.M., Gobron, N., Taberner, M., Widlowski, J-L., Dickinson, R.E., Govaserts, Y. “Coupling diffuse sky radiation and surface albedo.” Journal of Atmospheric Sciences 62 (2005): 2580-2591.

[23] Raschke, E., Ohmura, A., Rossow, W., Carlson, B.E., Zhang, Y., Stubenrauch, C., Kottel, M., Wild, M. “Cloud effects on the radiation budget based on ISCCP data (1991 to 1995).” International Journal of Climatology 25 (2005): 1103-1125.

[24] Rossow, William, and Zhang, Yuanchong. “Calculation of surface and top of atmosphere radiative fluxes from physical quantities based on ISCCP data sets. Validation and first results.” Journal of Geophysical Research 100 (1995): 1167-1197.

[25] Stephens, G.I., Li, J., Wild, M., Clayson, C.A., Loeb, N., Kato, S., L’Ecuyer, T., Stackhouse Jr., P., Lebsock, M., and Andrews, T.. “An update on Earth’s energy balance in light of the latest global observations. Nature Geoscience 5 (2012): 691-696.

[26] Trenberth, K., Fasullo, J., andKiehl, J. “Earth’s global energy budget.” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 90 (2009): 311-324.

[27] Wild, M, Ohmura, A., Gilgen, H., Roeckner, E., Giorgetta, M., Morcrette, J-J. “The disposition of radiative energy in the global climate system: GCM-calculated versus observational estimates.” Climatology Dynamics 14 (1998): 853-869.

[28] Zhang, Y., Rossow, W.B, Lacis, A.A., Oinas, V., and Mishcenko, M.I. “Calculation of radiative fluxes from the surface to top of atmosphere based on ISCCP and other global data sets: Refinements of the radiative model and the input data.” Journal of Geophysical Research 109 (2004): 1149-1165.