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ATMOSPHERE
Lesson 1 - Page 5

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If the Sun heats our Earth, why does it get colder the farther you go up in our atmosphere, and then it gets warm again just before going into outer space? If you have ever traveled by plane, you would have seen ice crystals form on the outside of the window.

Solar radiation enters the Earthís atmosphere usually is in the form of electromagnetic waves. As the SuníS rays enters the atmosphere, the radiation gives off heat energy. As it reflects from the Earthís surface (land or water) it gives off heat energy as it reflects. Snow, soil, meadows, concrete, and clouds all have a different albedo. The albedo is the fraction of light that is reflected by a body or surface. The atmosphere and Earth interface like a house of mirrors, producing energy with each reflection.

 

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