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СодержаниеRead and translate the words
Ozone, spectrum, process, solar, toxic, lethal, mineral, hydrogen, oxygen, thermonuclear, ultraviolet, infrered.
Read the following numbers and units of measure:
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Life would be impossible without Sun`s light. Energy received as solar radiation drives all life and meteorological processes on Earth. Like the hand that winds the spring of a clock, directly or indirectly, the Sun provides the external energy supporting the life activities within all ecosystems. Practically all the fuels that modern society uses – gas, oil and coal – are stored forms of energy received from the Sun as electromagnetic radiation millions of years ago.
The energy flux reaching the outer atmosphere of the Earth is called the solar constant. Solar radiation has been increasing steadily and now it is by 30% more than it was 3.8 billion years ago when life on Earth just emerged. At present, solar constant is about 1367 W/m2. Solar constant is the total radiation energy received from the Sun per unit of time per unit of area on a theoretical surface perpendicular to the Sun`s rays and at the Earth`s mean distance from the Sun.
Earth`s planetary albedo is defined as the fraction of the total incident solar radiation reflected by a planet back to space. At present albedo of the Earth is equal to 30% (=25% is the reflection of clouds and airborne particles of the atmosphere, and =5% is the reflection of the Earth`s surface.)
Clouds, water vapor, dust and gases of the atmosphere absorb about half of the solar radiation that might otherwise rich the Earth. Eventually, 150 W/m2 is the flux of the solar radiation that reaches the Earth`s surface.
The Sun is a thermonuclear reactor. Energy released in the form of electromagnetic waves of a wide range. These extend from X-rays of very short wavelength to radio waves of very long wavelength, but almost all Sun`s radiation falls within the ultraviolet, visible, and infrared radiation bands. Nearly half of solar energy occurs in the visible part of the solar spectrum between 400nm and 700nm, about 25% - in the ultraviolet band, and the remaining solar energy occurs at near infrared wavelength, mostly from 700nm (1 nm=10-9 m: one nanometer equals ten to the minus ninth power metres or one billionth of a meter).
The near-ultraviolet radiation from the Sun produces the ozone (O3) layer, which in turn shields the Earth from such radiation. Almost all ultraviolet radiation is absorbed by the ozone layer and oxygen. This is vitally important for living things because ultra-violet is extremely harmful and potentially lethal to most forms of life.
The atmosphere is almost perfectly transparent to incoming radiation of the visible band. The Earth reradiates this energy as infrared (heat) waves. Water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (NO2), ozone (O3), and some other gases absorb infrared wavelengths, much of which gets reradiated back toward the Earth. The atmosphere therefore behaves like glass in a greenhouse, allowing passage of light rather than heat. This phenomenon is termed the “greenhouse effect”. If the Earth had no atmosphere (but the same reflectivity to solar radiation, or albedo, as it has now), its average surface temperatures would be -18oC instead of comfortable +15oC found today. Thus, the result of greenhouse effect ia a net warming of the earth-atmosphere system and of the Earth surface temperature.
The first law of thermodynamics states that when energy of one form disappears, an equivalent amount of energy appears in some other form. It means that, in any case, light energy can be neither created nor destroyed as it passes through the atmosphere. It may, however, be transformed into equivalent amount another type of energy, such as biochemical energy, energy of motion (kinetic energy), or heat.
According to the second law of thermodynamics the efficiency of any energy transformation is never “perfect”: when energy changes from one form to another, some of the energy is lost to the system as “useless” heat.
The laws of thermodynamics hold for all energy transformations, including those involving the biochemical energy of life. In accordance with these laws, the earth-atmosphere system balances absorption of short-wav e solar radiation by emission of long-wave infrared (heat) radiation to space.
Ex. 1 Review questions:
Ex. 2 Translate into English:
Ex. 3 Translate the phrases and use them in the sentences of your own:
Ex. 4 Say it in English:
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