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60% to 70%

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  • How much solar energy is absorbed and reflected by the Earth?

  • Thus, about 71 percent of the total incoming solar energy is absorbed by the Earth system. Of the 340 watts per square meter of solar energy that falls on the Earth, 29% is reflected back into space, primarily by clouds, but also by other bright surfaces and the atmosphere itself.

  • How do deserts cool the Earth?

  • 鈥淒eserts are heat producers, reflecting around 60% to 70% of the solar energy that falls on them straight back into the atmosphere.鈥?Deserts reflect sunlight through the atmosphere TO SPACE, where it is lost from the atmosphere. Thus deserts cool the planet. Sunlight is transmitted through the atmosphere, not absorbed.

  • Could we power the world鈥檚 largest desert with solar power?

  • Researchers imagine it might be possible to transform the world鈥檚 largest desert, the Sahara, into a giant solar farm, capable of meeting four times the world鈥檚 current energy demand. Blueprints have been drawn up for projects in Tunisia and Morocco that would supply electricity for millions of households in Europe.

  • Could the world鈥檚 most forbidding deserts be the best places for solar?

  • The world鈥檚 most forbidding deserts could be the best places on Earth for harvesting solar power 鈥?the most abundant and clean source of energy we have. Deserts are spacious, relatively flat, rich in silicon 鈥?the raw material for the semiconductors from which solar cells are made 鈥?and never short of sunlight.

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