Solar Activity Impact On Earth Climate (Part 2)
April 8, 2013

Solar Activity Impact On Earth Climate (Part 2)

Here is another look at how the Sun has an impact on our daily temperatures and climate.

When we talk about the sun, we know that the sun is the primary heating source of Planet Earth, not the automobiles and power plants like scientists want you to believe. So now let’s look at how the sun impacts the temperatures on Earth to an even more fine detail. Have you ever noticed that when you got outside on a sunny day there is plenty of heat being released to the Earth? Now go out on a cloudy day and see if it feels as warm. Usually, on a cloudy day, the sun is not able to force all the solar radiation to the earth, keeping the earth’s surface cooler than on a sunny day.

However, if the sun was shining earlier in the day and then the clouds moved in, you would still have a high chance of getting a sunburn and that is due to solar energy now being trapped at the surface of the earth.

Image Credit: Joshua Kelly

Image Credit: Joshua Kelly

The opposite is true about nighttime. Once the sun sets, all the radiation begins to leave the Earth’s surface. Once the radiation leaves the surface, the Earth’s surface begins to cool. That is why on clear nights the temperatures are cooler than warmer nights. So cloudy nights are when all the sun’s heat gets trapped to the Earth’s surface, keeping it warmer.

Now to look at how this has a climate impact, we examine the southwest United States. The region is very dry and has many sunny days when the heat creates temperatures well over 100F, however due to the lack of moisture and clouds the night time temps can fall rapidly each night, this creates a huge climate extreme in the temperatures for this region.

So this method above of clouds or no clouds is one important factor to remember when studying climate as this can play a huge role in the climate of a place. The clouds or lack of clouds can be considered a micro-climate factor.

Remember, we will have more climate blogs as we go along. We need to start with the basics to get to the extreme parts of studying the climate, so the fun stuff will come soon.

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