Monthly Net Radiation

  • Released Thursday, October 24th, 2013
  • Updated Tuesday, November 14th, 2023 at 12:24AM

The difference between how much solar energy enters the Earth system and how much heat energy escapes into space is called net radiation. Some places absorb more energy than they give off back to space, so they have an energy surplus. Other places lose more energy to space than they absorb, so they have an energy deficit. These maps show monthly net radiation from July 2006 to the present, from the Fast Longwave And Shortwave Radiative Fluxes, or FLASHFlux, Time Interpolation and Spatial Averaging (TISA) data product. The product contains daily observations collected by the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) sensors on NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites. The colors show the net radiation (in Watts per square meter) that was contained in the Earth system. The maps illustrate the fundamental imbalance between net radiation surpluses at the equator (red areas), where sunlight is direct year-round, and net radiation deficits at high latitudes (blue areas), where direct sunlight is seasonal.

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Based on imagery by Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory, based on FLASHFlux data. FLASHFlux data are produced using CERES observations convolved with MODIS measurements from both the Terra and Aqua satellite. Data provided by the FLASHFlux team, NASA Langley Research Center.


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Datasets used in this visualization

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