There are two components to resolving Earth’s radiation energy budget: the input into the Earth system from the Sun’s radiative energy and the output of the radiative energy that leaves the Earth. This lecture will focus on the radiative energy that leaves the Earth, which is the sum of reflected sunlight and the radiative energy that Earth emits to space. The space-based measurements of these quantities began almost five decades ago, and just like the measurements of solar irradiance, they improved the fundamental understanding of Earth’s climate. As the sophistication of instruments grew, along with the models used to interpret their measurements, considerable insight has been gained into the flow of energy through the Earth system and its regulation of climate. Despite this progress, gaps in our understanding remain, requiring even longer climate records with improved accuracy. To meet these demands, LASP is developing a new climate mission called Libera that will launch in the latter part of this decade.
In this presentation, Libera principal investigator and LASP scientist Peter Pilewskie will discuss the Libera mission objectives and expected improvements in the understanding of Earth’s radiative energy budget and climate.