heat balance

The heat balance, also called heat budget, is the balance between the Sun's heat received by the Earth's atmosphere and that returned back into space. About two-thirds of solar radiation is absorbed by clouds, the atmosphere and the Earth, and about one-third is reflected back, mainly by clouds. The heat absorbed powers the circulation of the atmosphere, oceans, and water cycle. Eventually the heat is reradiated into space, maintaining the Earth's heat equilibrium.