Meteorology: Understanding the Atmosphere Ackerman and Knox
The amount of solar energy reaching Earth at any particular latitude is defined by how the Earth orbits the Sun. Therefore, it is a function of the time of year and the
tilt of the Earth with respect to the Sun. Use the applet below to explore how the incoming energy from the sun varies with time of year and latitude. Text instructions are below, or you can hear an
Questions to consider:
This applet plots the incoming solar energy at the top of the atmosphere (no absorption by the atmosphere). You can do this calculation for two locations at once. Select a month, day and latitude from each scroll down menu, and click on calculate. Northern latitudes are positive, Southern latitudes are negative. The red curve represents the calculation for the conditions set by the left menu bars, the black dots for the right hand case.