How does the temperature of the earth's surface affect the temperature of the air above it?

1 Answer
Dec 14, 2015


The Earth's surface is actually what heats the air above it.


The energy from the sun is "short-wave", and as such air is transparent to it. The sunlight goes right through the air without heating it at all. This "short-wave" radiation is absorbed by the Earth which then heats up. The heated Earth then emits it's own radiation but it is in the infrared part of the spectrum or "long-wave" radiation. This heat is what warms the atmosphere.