How does the Earth’s atmosphere affect solar radiation?

The Earth’s atmosphere plays a significant role in modifying solar radiation before it reaches the surface. The atmosphere scatters and absorbs certain wavelengths of radiation, reducing the intensity and altering the spectral distribution of the radiation. For example, the atmosphere scatters shorter wavelengths like UV and blue light, making the sky appear blue. Additionally, atmospheric gases like water vapor, carbon dioxide, and ozone absorb specific wavelengths of radiation, reducing the amount of energy available for solar energy systems. Understanding the effects of the atmosphere on solar radiation is essential for accurate modeling and prediction of solar energy output.