The Sun’s Energy Distribution

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The average amount of the sun’s radiation that penetrates the atmosphere and reaches the earth is 0.70 kilo-watts per square meter or 51% of the total incoming energy as illustrated above. Of the 49% that does not reach the earth, 30% is reflected back into space and 19% is absorbed by the atmosphere and clouds. The total solar energy absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and land masses is approximately 3,850,000 exajoules (EJ) per year.  The earth absorbs more energy in one hour than the world uses in one year.In total, the sun emits about 2.2 billion times the amount of radiation that is received by the earth.

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