Planetary Energy Balance

Electromagnetic Spectrum

The electromagnetic (EM) spectrum includes long wavelength and low frequency radio waves on one end, and short wave lehgth high frequency gamma rays on the other, with visible light as a narrow band in the middle.

Click to enlarge

The wavelength determines the type of electromagnetic radiation—whether it’s infrared, ultraviolet, or something else. Certain wavelengths can penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere; others cannot. The earth maintains its energy balance by either absorbing electromagnetic radiation or re-radiating the energy back into space.


back next