Fröhlich, Claus Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos/World Radiation Center, Davos Dorf, Switzerland.
Last reviewed:August 2019
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- Variation of total solar irradiance
- Nonelectromagnetic radiation
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The electromagnetic radiation and particles (electrons, protons, alpha particles, and rarer heavy atomic nuclei) emitted by the Sun. The electromagnetic radiation (light) that shines from the Sun covers a wavelength range from x-rays to radio waves, that is, from about 0.01 nanometer to 30 km. Of the Sun's output, 99% is carried by radiation with wavelengths between 278 and 4600 nm, with the maximum at 472 nm. The division into two energetically equal parts is at a wavelength of 731 nm. The annual mean irradiance at Earth, integrated over the whole electromagnetic spectrum, is called the total solar irradiance (TSI). Its generally accepted value is 1361 W/m−2 (Fig. 1). TSI is a critical factor in our understanding of the energy balance and climate of Earth. See also: Earth; Electromagnetic radiation; Global climate change; Light; Radiation; Spectrum; Sun
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