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The NASA Earth’s Energy Budget Poster
This double-sided poster is suitable for full sized printing at 25½ inches width by 22 inches height per side.

+ Download the full-sized Earth’s Energy Budget Poster [PDF – 85MB].

+ Download the Earth’s Energy Budget Story Board [PDF].

The energy budget diagram on the front shows our best understanding of energy flows into and away from the Earth. It is based on the work of many scientists over more than 100 years, with the most recent measurements from the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES; satellite instrument providing high accuracy data of the radiation components (reflected solar and emitted infrared radiation fluxes).

This energy balance determines the climate of the Earth. Our understanding of these energy flows will continue to evolve as scientists obtain a longer and longer record using new and better instruments.


National Science Education Standards - 
Standard D: Earth and Space Science: Energy in the earth
Standard F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives:
Science and technology in local, national, and global challenges

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards (grades 9-12) – 
Number and Operations: Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers…
Measurement: Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, …
Data Analysis and Probability: Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions …
Connections: Recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics.
Representation: Use representations to model and interpret physical…

AAAS Benchmarks (grades 9-12) - 
The Physical Setting: Weather and Climate
Transfer of thermal energy between the atmosphere and the land or … 4B/H2
Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere... 4B/H4
Climatic conditions result from … 4B/H5
The earth's climates have changed in the past, are currently changing, and are expected to change in the future… 4B/H6

Climate Literacy Framework Principles - no valid link available 
Principle 3: The Sun is the primary source of energy for the climate system.
Principle 4: Earth’s weather and climate systems are the result of complex interactions.
Principle 6: Evidence indicates human activities re impacting the climate		  


Radiative Forcing

Radiation Budget

Atmospheric Layers

General Information


Title Authors Citation
Improving estimates of Earth’s energy imbalance Gregory C. Johnson, John M. Lyman, Norman G. Loeb (2016) Nature Climate Change 6, 639–640, doi:10.1038/nclimate3043
An update on Earth’s energy balance in light of the latest global observations Graeme L. Stephens, Juilin Li, Martin Wild, Carol Anne Clayson, Norman Loeb, Seiji Kato, Tristan L’Ecuyer, Paul W. Stackhouse Jr, Matthew Lebsock & Timothy Andrews (2012) Nature Geoscience 5, 691–696, doi:10.1038/ngeo1580
Quality Summary
CERES Science Team
Toward optimal closure of the Earth’s top-of-atmosphere radiation budget Loeb, N. G., B. A. Wielicki, D. R. Doelling, G. L. Smith, D. F. Keyes,
S. Kato, N. Manalo-Smith, and T. Wong
(2009) Journal of Climate, 22(3), 748-766, doi:10.1175/2008jcli2637.1.
An observationally based energy balance for the Earth since 1950 Murphy, D. M., S. Solomon, R. W. Portmann, K. H. Rosenlof, P. M. Forster, and T. Wong (2009) Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, 114, 14, doi:D17107/10.1029/2009jd012105
Earth’s Global Energy Budget Trenberth, K. E., J. T. Fasullo,
and J. Kiehl
(2009) Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 90(3), 311-+, doi:10.1175/2008bams2634.1