# Estimate the average solar insolation Location A

Estimate the average solar insolation Location A

For the rest of this module, you will identify and explain the geographic distribution, patterns, and processes associated with electromagnetic radiation. In doing so, you will recognize and appreciate the role of the Sun, atmosphere and the Earthfs surface as they influence the worldfs global energy budget.

Collapse and uncheck the INTRODUCTION folder.

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

Insolation (incoming solar radiation) is the amount of direct or diffused electromagnetic radiation the Earth receives from the Sun. Insolation can be quantified by its irradiance, which is the power . or rate of electromagnetic radiation – that strikes the surface of a given area. As power is measured in Watts (W), and area is measured in meters squared (m2), irradiance is commonly measured in Watts per meter squared (W/m2).

The Sun produces a fairly constant rate of solar radiation at the outer surface of the Earthfs atmosphere; this solar constant averages to approximately 1370 W/m2. However, the average amount of solar radiation received at any one location on the Earth is not ~1370 W/m2 . it is far less, due in part to the conditions of the atmosphere, the land cover, the given latitude, the time of day, and the time of year.

Expand the GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE folder and select Insolation in June. To close the citation, click the X in the top right corner of the window.

This map shows the average global solar insolation . or where and how much sunlight fell on the Earthfs surface – for the month of June in 2012. The legend in the top left corner shows how much sunlight fell on Earthfs surface, which ranges from a low of 0 W/m2 (purple/dark red) to a high of 550 W/m2 (white). Use this map layer to answer the following questions.

Double-click and select Location A.

Question 8: What is the approximate latitude of Location A (Oslo, Norway)?

A. 60N

B. 60S

C. 10E

D. 10W

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Question 9: Estimate the average solar insolation Location A (Oslo, Norway) received in June:

A. Near 0 W/m2

B. Near 275 W/m2

C. Near 400 W/m2

D. Near 550 W/m2

Double-click and select Location B.

Question 10: What is the latitude of Location B (Isla de los Estados, Argentina)?

A. 54N

B. 54S

C. 64E

D. 64W

Question 11: Estimate the average solar insolation Location B (Isla de los Estados, Argentina) received in June:

A. Near 0 W/m2

B. Near 275 W/m2

C. Near 400 W/m2

D. Near 550 W/m2

Question 12: Which location received greater average solar insolation in June . Location A or Location B? Explain why.

A. Location B, because it is closer to the equator

B. Location A because it receives more daylight hours in June

C. Location B because itfs a darker orange color

D. Location A because itfs farther from the subsolar point in June

Double-click and select Insolation in December. To close the citation, click the X in the top right corner of the window

This map shows the average global solar insolation received in December. The legend in the upper right corner shows how much sunlight fell on Earthfs surface, which ranges from a low of 0 W/m2 (dark red) to a high of 550 W/m2 (light yellow). Use this map layer and compare it to Insolation in June to answer the following questions.

Double-click Location A.

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Question 13: Estimate the average solar insolation Location A (Oslo, Norway) received in December:

A. Near 0 W/m2

B. Near 275 W/m2

C. Near 400 W/m2

D. Near 550 W/m2

Question 14: Which of the following explains the difference in average solar insolation at Location A (Oslo, Norway) in June and December? (Check all that apply).

A. Location A is further from subsolar point in December

B. Location A receives more daylight hours in December

C. Location A is close to the Equator (low latitude)

D. Location A is closer to the subsolar point in June

Double-click Location B.

Question 15: Estimate the average solar insolation Location B (Isla de los Estados, Argentina) received in December:

A. Near 0 W/m2

B. Near 275 W/m2

C. Near 400 W/m2

D. Near 550 W/m2

Question 16: Which of the following explains the difference in average solar insolation at Location B (Isla de los Estados, Argentina) in June and December? (Check all that apply).

A. Location B is further from subsolar point in December

B. Location B receives more daylight hours in December

C. Location B is far from the Equator (high latitude)

D. Location B is closer to the subsolar point in June

Question 17: What is the general trend of solar insolation at Location A compared to Location B in June and December?

A. Location A and B show the same trend, with insolation high in June and low in December

B. Location A and B show the same trend, with insolation high in December and low in June

C. Location A and B show opposite trends, with insolation high at one location and low at the other location

D. Location A and B show no trend in December or in June

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Uncheck Location A and Location B. Double-click and select Location C.

Question 18: What is the latitude of Location C (Yasuni National Park, Ecuador)?

A. 1N

B. 1S

C. 75W

D. 75E

Question 19: Estimate the average solar insolation that Location C (Yasuni National Park, Ecuador) received in June:

A. Near 0 W/m2

B. Near 275 W/m2

C. Near 400 W/m2

D. Near 550 W/m2

Question 20: Estimate the amount of solar insolation Location C (Yasuni National Park, Ecuador) received in December:

A. Near 0 W/m2

B. Near 275 W/m2

C. Near 400 W/m2

D. Near 550 W/m2

Question 21: Which of the following accounts for the trends in average solar insolation at Location C (Yasuni National Park, Ecuador) in June and December? (Check all that apply).

A. There is relatively minor differences in sun angle

B. There is relatively minor differences in daylight hours

C. Location C is close to the Equator (low latitude)

D. Location C is far from subsolar point in December

Question 22: Which of the following is true about how latitude and calendar date affect where and how much sunlight falls on the Earthfs surface in a given year? (Check all that apply).

A. The higher the latitude the greater the seasonal difference in daylight hours

B. Higher southern latitudes receive more daylight hours around the June solstice.

C. Higher northern latitudes receive more daylight hours around the June solstice.

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D. The lower the latitude the greater the seasonal difference in daylight hours

Collapse and uncheck GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE.

When energy from the Sun reaches the Earthfs atmosphere, it flows along various paths, with some energy absorbed by the atmosphere, some reflected back into space and some striking the Earthfs surface. These various paths are part of the heat transfer mechanism that distributes heat across the globe. A more detailed breakdown of what happens is shown in the solar radiation animation. To note, the values shown in the animation are for the Earth as a whole.

Select and click FLOW OF SOLAR RADIATION.

Question 23: What percent of the Sunfs energy entering the Earthfs atmosphere is absorbed directly by the atmosphere?

A. 18%

B. 25%

C. 31%

D. 69%

Question 24: What percent of the Sunfs energy (shortwave radiation) entering the Earthfs atmosphere is absorbed by Earth is some way (clouds, water, Earthfs surface)?

A. 18%

B. 25%

C. 31%

D. 69%

Question 25: What accounts for the most solar radiation being reflected back into space?

A. Dust particles

B. Ozone

C. Clouds

D. Aerosols

Question 26: Why does incoming shortwave radiation equal outgoing longwave radiation? (Check all that apply).

A. To keep the Earthfs average temperature more or less constant

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B. The laws of physics require incoming and outgoing radiation to equal

C. It maintains the thickness of the atmosphere and variability in the length of day

D. Without a balanced radiation budget, the Earth will become increasingly warmer or cooler

Question 27: The values in the animation are for the Earth as a whole, however, the flow of energy is not even across the Earthfs surface. Speculate how net radiation differs at the Equator compared to the Poles. (Check all that apply).

A. Net radiation is more or less constant near the Equator, but varies at the Poles

B. Net radiation is more or less constant near the Poles, but varies at the Equator

C. During the June Solstice, net radiation is greater at the North Pole than the Equator

D. During the December Solstice, net radiation is greater at the North Pole than the Equator

Uncheck the FLOW OF SOLAR RADIATION folder.

ALBEDO

Expand the ALBEDO folder. Double-click and select Albedo in September. To close the citation, click the X in the top right corner of the window.

Albedo is the portion of solar energy (shortwave radiation) that is reflected from Earthfs surface back into space. Albedo is calculated as the relative amount (ratio) of reflected sunlight (reflected shortwave radiation) to the total amount of sunlight (incident shortwave radiation). Clouds and bright (light-colored) surfaces have higher albedo rates than dark colored surfaces like asphalt, roads and forests.

This map shows the average global albedo received in September. The legend at the top shows the proportion of sunlight reflected from Earthfs surface, which ranges from no albedo at 0.0 (dark blue) to a high albedo at 0.9 (light blues to white). Areas of no data are denoted as black or no color. Use this map layer to answer the following questions.

Double-click and select Location D; then, double-click and select Location E.

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