Reigning on Earth's Climate - Only about 70% of the solar energy that reaches Earth is absorbed, while the other 30% is reflected back into space by atmosphere and aerosols, ocean/land and clouds. A closer view reveals a delicate balance between absorption and reflection as well as a release of energy by rocks, air and sea warming and emitting increasing amounts of thermal radiation (heat) in the form of long-wave infrared light. This radiation allows Earth to lose heat at the same rate it gains from the Sun. Evidence is in the land/ocean interaction, the absorption of energy by clouds, water vapor and the greenhouse gas ozone, as well as the 20-24% absorbed and emitted back by clouds. Note: This animation shows the global view of the Earth's solar energy budget. Animator: Susan Twardy (HTSI).