When it comes to climate one of the most important things that needs to be looked at is the sun, without the sun, this would possibly be one cold planet. The sun has huge impacts on our climate from the angle the sun hits the earth, such as the polar region having a very high reflectively rate of the sun, hence why it’s a tad bit cooler there than in the tropics, where the sun has a more direct impact. So let’s examine the radiation of the sun and what can impact it, first we need to look ata sunny day, when the sun is out during the day it favors a warmer day, than if it were cloudy and rainy, this is due to more direct sunlight entering the earth’s surface were we live. Some of the sun’s radiation gets absorbed by the land, such as fields that are exposing black top soil or roads that are paved with a black surface, on a sunny day these places get warm. But take a look at this not all solar energy hitting the earth’s surface stays on the surface, for example you have high reflectively sources such as snow, water, they will reflect the solar energy away from the surface, this is just one reason it tends to be cooler near the beach or a place that has snow cover.
So you may ask how can this impact the climate of an area, well let’s examine the climate based on water versus land, for example if we take Biloxi MS, which is located along the coast and then take the farm fields of South Dakota which are not by any major water sources. We can note that the summers of Biloxi tend to stay in the 80-90F range due to the water impacts, whereas the farm fields of South Dakota can easily hit the 100’s during the summer. Just the opposite occurs in the winter, the farm fields of South Dakota can hit the -20F and colder during the winter, whereas Biloxi MS, will very seldom see nights below the 30’s during the winter. This is one factor of climate the land versus water aspect. So, thats it.
Now that we looked at the basic of solar radition in the next blog post we will evalute how clouds interact with the climate and make certain climate patterns establish themselves.