Outgoing longwave radiation

  • Outgoing Longwave Radiation
  • The outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) refers specifically to the radiation emitted by the Earth and its atmosphere (the terrestrial radiation). Satellite measurements of the OLR from terrestrial surfaces and clouds show that OLR is low over cold land and high clouds and high over hot land surfaces. Climate variations, such as El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) can be measured from OLR anomalies from longer-term variations. 
Abstract from DBPedia
    Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) is the energy radiating from the Earth as infrared radiation at low energy to Space. OLR is electromagnetic radiation emitted from Earth and its atmosphere out to space in the form of thermal radiation. The flux of energy transported by outgoing longwave radiation is measured in W/m². Over 99% of outgoing longwave radiation has wavelengths between 4 µm and 100 µm, in the thermal infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Contributions with wavelengths larger than 40 µm are small, therefore often only wavelengths up to 50 µm are considered . In the wavelength range between 4 µm and 10 µm the spectrum of outgoing longwave radiation overlaps that of solar radiation, and for various applications different cut-off wavelengths between the two may be chosen. Radiative cooling by outgoing longwave radiation is the primary way the Earth System loses energy. The balance between this loss and the energy gained by radiative heating from incoming solar shortwave radiation determines global heating or cooling of the Earth system (Energy budget of Earth’s climate). Local differences between radiative heating and cooling provide the energy that drives atmospheric dynamics.

    (Source: http://dbpedia.org/resource/Outgoing_longwave_radiation)

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