T-23: Measuring Earth’s Power Source

For more than 40 years, NASA has measured Earth’s energy budget with global, direct observations of solar radiation entering and exiting Earth.

Earth’s energy budget is a metaphor for the delicate equilibrium between the Sun’s incoming energy and the energy that’s radiated back into space. Continuous, stable and accurate data records over multiple decades are critical to understanding Earth’s energy balance.

Reflected solar and emitted thermal infrared radiation measured from NASA’s Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instruments and incoming solar radiation measured from NASA’s Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS)-1 show gains (red) and losses (blue) of energy.

NASA logo with the blue circle replaced with Earth

The data collected improve models that provide seasonal and longer-term forecasts, which inform industry and policy makers to better plan for the future.