The Solar Constant
As seen from
where it goes
why it matters
The amount of energy from the Sun is enormous (3.8 x1026 Joules·Second-1). The
Earth intercepts about 1.35 x103 Joules·Second-1·Meter-2, of which about 900
W/meter2 makes it to the ground, at noon, on a clear day. Why the science & astronomy
The Sun is 1/3 million times larger than the Earth;
It's safe to call that inexhaustible.
The sun is the source of energy for all life on earth!
The food we eat, came from plants or animals. Plants grow by fixing CO2 and H2O
using sunlight and the source of energy, animals eat plants, so ultimately all the food we eat came from the
energy of the sun.
All our fuels, coal, oil and gas came from ancient plants, too. All the fresh water in
our rivers and lakes that we use to generate hydroelectric power are driven by sunshine heating the atmosphere,
driving air masses as rain and wind and waves, gets there from the heat of the sun; our ultimate source of
We are all solar powered.
Did you know, that on average, the Earth reflects or re-radiates 100% of the sunlight that it intercepts back
into space. If it varied by more than 1% the temperature would either rise of fall to unbearable levels in
a matter of weeks. Imagine a summer that just kept getting hotter, or a winter that just kept getting
colder. Bet you think the we don't believe in Global Warming... Wrong, global warming is a fact, but
the signal to noise ratio is so low, that it's hard to tell. It's like comparing the damage a skateboarder
does to public stairs, while a crew is jack-hammering the very same sidewalk. I don't want skateboard kids
gouging handrails, any more than I want excess man-made CO2, SOx, and other pollutants in
my lungs, or CFCs in my ozone layer. But what's the real harm of a few kids on the sidewalk?
The Light is Green2
1) I needed a 1st footnote or the second footnote wouldn't be as interesting.
2) Our catchy slogan, is a fitting one-two too; to get your share click here3.
3) All forms of the word to, too, and two appear in footnote 2 and footnote 3 has all 4.