Measurement of the energy budget of the earth from satellites
The climate on earth is determined by the equilibrium between
- the incoming solar radiation, which causes a heating of the earth.
- the reflected solar radiation, which lowers the amount of solar energy that is absorbed, and thus has a relative cooling effect.
- the thermal radiation that escapes to space in the form of inrared radiation, which has a cooling effect on the earth
The net heating of the earth is measured by the European GERB instrument from the geostationary Meteosat satellite en by the American CERES instruments from the polar Terra and Aqua satellites. A Chinese instrument will soon be launched on the FY3-A satellite. The RMIB is the centre for the processing of GERB data.