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Doesn't the planet Earth radiate more energy into space than the energy it absorbs from the Sun?

Where does the radiated energy difference come from?
This is a geothermodynamics Q.
BTW Does anybody know what the difference is in an energy rate of some kind and where I can find the info?


  1. Hi,
    no, it does not radiate more energy than it absorbs.
    All energy on the earth can be traced back to the sun at one (1) point or another.

  2. Yes, but not by much. The excess consists of heat energy from below the surface, consisting of heat from radioactive decay as well as heat left over from the gravitational energy of the original agglomeration of the earth’s matter.

  3. For the surface of the earth, the sun is the sole driver of energy. That solar energy is put to work creating weather, warming the surface and providing the energy of life.
    There is, indeed, as second source – the earth’s internal heat. However, this is only manifested at the surface in terms of a slight increase in ground temperature and the pyrotechnics of volcanic activity.
    In simple point of fact, we consume (a small fraction) of the energy of the sun – so the earth radiates less energy back into space than we receive. (This includes the extra energy of the second source, too.)

  4. Currently, thanks to global warming, the earth absorbs more energy than it radiates back to space. The total forcing is on the order of 1-1.5W per square meter if I am not mistaken.
    According to
    the average geothermal heat flow is 63mW per square meter, which would be roughly one twentieth of the total current climate forcing.
    It always amuses me how fervent geothermal energy pundits get a kick out of putting solar energy down as “not concentrated enough” and such… 200W/m^2 is not good enough, yet their own average of 63mW/m^2 will save mankind… yeah, right.
    Note: I do know the difference between averages and peak sources… it is the pundits who don’t and like to compare apples with oranges to convince people who don’t take the time to look up the reality behind their propaganda.

  5. Ever drill an oil well. It’s hot down there. If the earth didn’t radiate more energy than it absorbed from the sun the surplus added to the heat coming up through the ground would make things pretty unpleasant.


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