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2.1 Energy Relationships and The Biosphere

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2.1 Energy Relationships and The Biosphere. Flow of Energy in the Biosphere. The biosphere is maintained by a constant flow of energy from the sun Net radiation budget is the difference between incoming and outgoing solar radiation. Energy Relationships and the Biosphere.

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flow of energy in the biosphere
Flow of Energy in the Biosphere
  • The biosphere is maintained by a constant flow of energy from the sun
  • Net radiation budget is the difference between incoming and outgoing solar radiation
energy relationships and the biosphere
Energy Relationships and the Biosphere

(a) Latitude(b) Characteristics of the biosphere

The amount received by a region (isolation) depends on:

angle of inclination
Angle of Inclination
  • Is the degree by which the poles are titled from the perpendicular plane of orbit
angle of incidence
Angle of Incidence
  • Is the angle at which the sun’s rays hit the surface of the earth
  • It depends on latitude
  • It is affected by the tilt of the earth axis which is 23.5°

because of the tilt the earth:

    • The suns rays:
        • strike the equator directly …at 0°
        • are less direct at higher latitudes
        • cause uneven heating; resulting in weather conditions
    • There are seasons
  • Are caused by the tilt of the Earth’s axis
  • Change when the northern hemisphere is:
    • Tilted toward the sun = summer
    • Tilted away from the sun =winter



  • is the shortest and longest day of the year
  • Summer Solstice:
    • is the longest day of the year (most hours of daylight)
    • June 21st
  • Winter solstice
    • is the shortest day of the year
    • December 21
  • Is when the center of the sun is over the equator
  • Vernal Equinox
    • is the beginning of spring
  • Autumnal Equinox
    • Is the beginning of fall
  • Is when the equatorial regions have 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness
solar energy
Solar Energy
  • Is either absorbed or reflected
solar energy absorbed
Solar Energy Absorbed
  • Can be converted to chemical energy by photosynthesis
  • Drives water cycle
hydrologic cycle water cycle
Hydrologic Cycle (water cycle)
  • Water evaporates from lakes, oceans, etc. and from plants (TRANSPIRATION)
  • water rises, cools, and condenses
  • it falls to the ground as precipitation
  • whenever water changes phase, thermal energy is either released or absorbed
  • this movement of thermal energy help to keep the average temperature of Earth relatively stable
solar energy reflected
Solar Energy Reflected
  • The amount depends on the albedo of the surface
  • Aledo is the degree to which materials reflect solar radiation
  • Light colors have a high albedo and reflect

snow, ice, water, clouds

high albedo =

soil, dark rocks, forests, dust

low albedo =

natural green house effect
Natural Green House Effect
  • Is caused by green house gases in the troposphere trapping heat that is reflected from earth
  • Green house gases
    • Methane
    • Carbon dioxide
    • Water vapour
  • These keep the average global temperature at 25 degrees


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