How Does the Sun Affect the Earth?

sun-affect-earth Credit: Susanne Nilsson/CC-BY-SA 2.0

The sun provides the Earth with energy in the form of heat, which it uses to warm the Earth's surface, oceans and atmosphere. The heat energy found in the atmosphere is one of the major components of the Earth's climate and climate change, according to Windows to the Universe.

The sun gives off radiation as well as heat energy. The amount of radiation that the Earth receives depends on the Earth's position and the amount of clouds in the Earth's atmosphere. The radiation given off by the sun affects the Earth's climate patterns and its overall temperature. Solar activity, such as solar flares or sunspots, increases the amount of radiation that is given off by the sun and causes the Earth to have dramatic changes in temperature.

Sunlight is an important component that drives photosynthesis on Earth. Green plants are able to harness this energy and use it to produce vital food that people consume, including the oxygen that they breathe to sustain life.

The sun's heat warms the oceans and is crucial to the water cycle , which provides essential water for all organisms. Furthermore, the sun heats up Earth's atmosphere, directly influencing the climate and weather patterns people on the planet experience on a daily basis.