EARTH OBSERVATION

Another point of view

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Science  27 Sep 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6460, pp. 1415-1416
DOI: 10.1126/science.365.6460.1415-e

Understanding Earth's energy balance is fundamental for understanding climate. The amount of solar energy incident on the top of the atmosphere is well known, but the outgoing radiative flux is more uncertain because traditional ground-based, aircraft, and satellite instruments see only a fraction of Earth at a time, and their data must be extrapolated, interpolated, or combined to create a whole-planet picture. Carlson et al. present measurements made by the instrument NISTAR, which can see all of Earth at once because it is located at the Lagrangian L-1 point 1.6 million miles in the direction of the Sun. This allows them to determine the total outgoing radiation flux and its spectrum at subseasonal resolution.

Geophys. Res. Lett. 10.1029/2019GL083736 (2019).

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