- The Sun is the primary and the main source of light and heat in solar system. It radiates heat at all times and in all the directions which is called as solar radiation.
- Solar radiation heats both the atmosphere and the Earth. The rays of the Sun pass through the atmosphere but they do not heat the air as much as they heat the Earth's surface.
- The heat received by the Earth from the Sun is called insolation which comes to the Earth in the form of short waves.
- The atmosphere is more heated by insolation than by radiation. The Earth absorbs a lot of Sun's heat and energy but it reflects much of this heat and energy back to the atmosphere in the form of long waves.
- The atmosphere is heated more by heated surface of the Earth which radiates back a large portion of that heat into the atmosphere than the incoming solar radiation.
- Thus the heated surface of the Earth is more responsible for heating the atmosphere than the incoming solar radiation.
- The heated surface of the Earth warms up the atmosphere about two and a half times more than the solar radiation in a ratio of 34 : 14.
The atmosphere gets heated by both these methods, i.e..
- incoming solar radiation and
- insolation on the heat radiated back by the Earth in the atmosphere.
- The heating of the atmosphere by radiation and isolation makes it very dynamic. The air near the Earth, when it gets heated expands, becomes lighter and begins to rise.
- The cool air comes down to take its place. All this results in the circulation of air in the atmosphere. This is' called the cyclic circulation of the air
- the angle of the Sun's rays
- the duration of the Sun's light
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