About this dataset
Every day, the Sun shines on Earth. Ice and snow and bright white clouds reflect some light back into space. The rest of the light is absorbed by the atmosphere, land surfaces and oceans, and this absorption keeps Earth warm. Like other warm objects, Earth emits heat into space. The difference between how much solar energy enters the Earth system and how much heat energy escapes into space is called "net radiation." Some places absorb more energy than they give off back to space, so they have an energy surplus. Other places lose more energy to space than they absorb, so they have an energy deficit.
What do the colors mean?
The colors in these maps show the net radiation (in Watts per square meter) that was contained in the Earth system for the given time period. The maps illustrate the fundamental imbalance between net radiation surpluses at the equator (green areas), where sunlight is direct year-round, and net radiation deficits at high latitudes (blue areas), where direct sunlight is seasonal.
Imagery by Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory, based on FLASHFlux data. FLASHFlux data are produced using CERES observations convolved with MODIS measurements from both the Terra and Aqua satellite. Data provided by the FLASHFlux team, NASA Langley Research Center.
Federal Geographic Data Committee Geospatial Metadata
View the FGDC Metatdata for Net Radiation (1 month)