Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Deducing Earth’s Global Energy Flows from a Simple Greenhouse Model

Version 1 : Received: 22 November 2018 / Approved: 27 November 2018 / Online: 27 November 2018 (03:47:23 CET)

How to cite: Zagoni, M. Deducing Earth’s Global Energy Flows from a Simple Greenhouse Model. Preprints 2018, 2018110597. Zagoni, M. Deducing Earth’s Global Energy Flows from a Simple Greenhouse Model. Preprints 2018, 2018110597.


Earth atmosphere is almost opaque in the infrared: about 374 W/m2 is absorbed by the atmosphere out of 396 W/m2 surface upward longwave radiation, and only about 22 W/m2 leaves the system unabsorbed in the atmospheric window. This makes rise to the idea to approximate the annual global mean energy flow system from a simple idealized greenhouse model, where the surface is surrounded by a single-layer shortwave (SW) transparent, longwave (LW) opaque, non-turbulent atmosphere. The energy flows in this geometry can be described by elementary arithmetic relationships. Starting from this model, the realistic Earth’s atmosphere can be achieved by introducing partial atmospheric SW opacity, partial atmospheric LW transparency and turbulent fluxes during the course of the deduction. The resulted global mean energy flow system is then compared to several data sets such as satellite observations from the CERES mission; estimates using direct surface observations and climate models; global energy and water cycle assessments; and independent detailed clear-sky radiative transfer computations. We find that the deduction from this idealized model approximates the real values in Earth energy budget with reasonable accuracy: the deduced fluxes and the observed ones are consistent within the acknowledged error of observations; while fundamental features of the initial geometry like special ratios and definite relationships between the fluxes are preserved.


global energy budget; simple greenhouse model; infrared-opaque limit


Environmental and Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science and Meteorology

Comments (0)

We encourage comments and feedback from a broad range of readers. See criteria for comments and our Diversity statement.

Leave a public comment
Send a private comment to the author(s)
* All users must log in before leaving a comment
Views 0
Downloads 0
Comments 0
Metrics 0

Notify me about updates to this article or when a peer-reviewed version is published.
We use cookies on our website to ensure you get the best experience.
Read more about our cookies here.