• Corpus ID: 118528726

Why is the earth not burning ? The earth radiative energy balance

@article{Bret2011WhyIT,
  title={Why is the earth not burning ? The earth radiative energy balance},
  author={Antoine Bret},
  journal={arXiv: Popular Physics},
  year={2011}
}
  • A. Bret
  • Published 1 March 2011
  • Education, Physics
  • arXiv: Popular Physics
The concept of energy balance is a key one in climate science. Yet, students may find it counterintuitive: while it is obvious that some energy comes in from the sun, the part coming out is more elusive. Asking them why the earth is not burning after billions of years of exposure to the sun, takes them to the question "where does the energy goes?" A series of Fermi like calculations then convinces them that storage capabilities are negligible compared to the amount of energy coming in: the…