Atmospheric radiation budget

From Glossary of Meteorology

atmospheric radiation budget

An accounting of radiant energy loss or gain by the atmosphere for some specified time and place.

The main components are the loss of longwave radiant energy to space, a net gain (usually) of longwave radiation from the surface, and a gain of energy due to the absorption of shortwave radiation, primarily by water vapor absorption. On a long-term average, the global atmospheric radiation budget is ≈ -100 W m-2. This loss of energy is made up by the transfer of sensible and latent heat from the surface.