Solar radiation enters the Earth's atmosphere with a portion being scattered by clouds and aerosols.

Processing, archiving and distributing Earth science data
at the NASA Langley Research Center

Radiation Budget

Radiation Budget


Radiation budget refers to the difference between the absorbed solar radiation and the net infrared radiation. The radiation budget takes into account the sum of all radiation, transferred in all directions, through the Earth's atmosphere and to and from space. The radiation budget (or radiation balance) controls the Earth's temperature and rainfall.


Projects Definition/Description Spatial Coverage Temporal Coverage


Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) measurements were collected from three satellites (ERBS, NOAA-9, NOAA-10) carrying two ERBE instrument packages (Scanner and NonScanner). The objective was to measure global albedo, fluxes, and solar incidence. The ERBE ...Read more

Global 11/05/1984 - 03/12/2003


The First ISCCP Regional Experiments (FIRE) have been designed to improve data products and cloud/radiation parameterizations used in general circulation models (GCMs). Specifically, the goals of FIRE are (1) to improve basic ...Read more

Relevant to each mission Relevant to each mission


The ultimate goal of the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) global data analysis projects is to obtain observations of the elements of the global energy and water cycle with ...Read more

Global Varies - relevant to each data submission.


International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) focuses on the distribution and variation of cloud radiative properties to improve the understanding of the effects of clouds on climate, the radiation ...Read more

Global 07/01/1983 - 12/31/2009


The MODIS Airborne Simulator (MAS) is an airborne scanning spectrometer that acquires high spatial resolution imagery of cloud and surface features from its vantage point on-board a NASA ER-2 high-altitude ...Read more

Relevant to each experiment Relevant to each experiment


The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) was successfully launched into sun-synchronous polar orbit aboard Terra, NASA's first Earth Observing System (EOS) spacecraft, on December 18, 1999. MISR measurements are designed ...Read more

Global 03/01/2000 - Present


Mentoring and inquirY using NASA Data on Atmospheric and earth science for Teachers and Amateurs:
easy online access to satellite data, images, lesson plans, earth science glossary and more for K-12 education and citizen scientists.Read more

Varies Varies


The Nimbus-7 Earth Radiation Budget (ERB) instrument began recording data on November 16, 1978 and continued through June 20, 1980. The principal products are nine years of global albedo, outgoing longwave, and net radiation plus continuing solar irradiance measurements. The

...Read more
Global 11/16/1978 - 12/13/1993


The Prediction of Worldwide Energy Resource (POWER) project was initiated to improve upon the current SSE data set and to create new data sets from new satellite systems and forecast modeling data. The improved SSE data will continue to be focussed on the solar and wind Renewable Energy industry ...Read more

Global 30 year averages (1/1/1984 – 12/31/2013)


Smoke/Sulfates, Clouds and Radiation - America (SCAR-A) data include physical and chemical components of the Earth's surface, the atmosphere and the radiation field collected in the eastern part of the United ...Read more

Eastern United States 07/12/1993 - 07/29/1993