How energy is added to and removed from the Earth System
Energy from the sun enters the Earth System in the form of short-wave radiation. When it enters the atmosphere, some of this solar energy is reflected, scattered and absorbed. Only about half of the radiation arrives at the Earth’s surface. The atmosphere, which is made up of gases such as carbon dioxide and water vapour which re-radiates energy back into the atmosphere and then back towards the Earth. This exchange of energy is usually referred to as the ‘greenhouse effect’ because it causes the warming of the Earth.
The climate-energy system showing how energy is transferred by the sun, the Earth and various gases, resulting in the enhanced greenhouse effect