Textbook source: Chapters 1-3 in Houghton, 2015. Lecture notes from modules 1-3. There are 500 points total on this assignment, but each assignment is work 5% of your overall course grade. We will therefore scale your grade on this (and all) assignment(s) by dividing your score out of 500 by 100 to get your score in terms of percent of the overall course grade. Use short sentences to answer the following questions. 1. (100 points) Think about what you have learned about the greenhouse effect so far. a) Describe in a sentence how the temperature of an object affects the wavelength of
radiation emitted by the object. Include the relevant equation. b) Describe in a sentence how the temperature of an object affects the amount of radiation emitted. Include the relevant equation b) List six greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. c) List the three most abundant gases in the Earth’s atmosphere, but which are not greenhouse gases. d) Describe the meaning of the term infrared atmospheric window? Why is there an atmospheric window either way? e) Doubling CO2 causes only a 4 Wm-2 reduction in the longwave radiation emitted by the Earth, but if all the CO2 in the atmosphere were removed, the longwave radiation emitted by the Earth would increase by 25 Wm-2, much larger than the decrease that results from a doubling. Explain why this is. 2. (100 points)
a) Calculate the wavelength of peak emissions from the Earths surface (temperature = 288 K).
Include a description of your method and the units. b) Calculate the amount of radiation emitted by the Earths surface (temperature = 288 K).Include a description of your method and the units. 3. (100 points) a) In the lecture notes, we defined the solar constant as the flux of energy reaching the top of the Earths atmosphere and said its value is about 1360 W m-2. Briefly but completely describe why this number is different than the number used for incoming (downwelling) solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere (about 340 W m-2) in our calculation of the Earths energy balance.b) Given that the solar constant is 1360 W m-2 and the mean distance between the sun and the Earth is 1.5 x 1011 m, what is the total energy output by the sun? You need to show / describe your calculation to get any points for this question.
c) What fraction of the suns total energy output does the Earth intercept, given that the radius of the Earth is 6.4 x 106 m. Express your answer as a percent. Hint: its a really small percentage
4. (100 points) a) Using the observed fluxes of energy as described in Fig. 2.7 of your textbook (reproduced below), write out a budget of energy at the Earths surface. Investigate and report whether the Earths surface energy budget is: way out of balance, a tiny bit out of balance, or in balance. Show the work you used to complete your assessment. b) Apply the same energy budget process to the Earths atmosphere (note: not above the atmosphere, not below the atmosphere, but in the Earths atmosphere. As before, investigate
and report whether the Earths atmospheric energy budget is: way out of balance, a tiny bit out of
balance, or in balance. Show the work you used to complete your assessment.
Fig. 2.7 in Houghton, 2015: the observed fluxes of energy
5. (100 points) a) Planet Venus has a thick atmosphere and is closer to the sun than Earth. The solar constant (Qo in your lecture notes) for Venus is roughly 2614Wm-2 and its albedo is roughly 0.75. Calculate the radiative equilibrium surface temperature of Venus using this information and neglecting any influence of the atmosphere. b) Mars, which has a rather thin atmosphere and is farther away from the sun than Earth, has a solar constant of roughly 590 W m2 and its albedo is roughly 0.22. Calculate the radiative equilibrium surface temperature of Mars using this information and neglecting any influence of the atmosphere. c) The actual average surface temperature is about 730K and 217K for Venus and Mars, respectively. The actual average surface temperature of Earth is about 288 K, whereas a similar calculation for Earth predicts a radiative equilibrium surface temperature of 255 K. How strong is the difference between the calculated radiative equilibrium temperatures and the actual surface temperatures for the three planets? What is the reason for the difference?
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