Skip over navigation
Land Cover Change and Global Productivity
While satellites measure radiative flux at the top of the atmosphere, most people are more concerned about conditions on the surface where we live, grow our crops, heat and cool our homes, and enjoy our skiing or beach vacations. Consequently, one of the objectives of the CERES investigation is to better estimate radiative fluxes within the atmosphere and at the surface. CERES surface radiation budget (SRB) data help us understand the trends and patterns of changes in regional land cover, biodiversity, and agricultural production. In particular, CERES can detect variations in surface albedo and longwave emission that signal potential changes in the nature of the land, such as desertification. The SRB provides data on solar energy available at the surface (as shown in the figure below from the Global Energy and Water-cycle Experiment SRB project), useful for locating sites for solar power facilities and for architectural design applications.
Surface Solar Energy