A measure of the energy in a substance. The more heat energy in the substance, the higher the temperature. The Earth receives only one two-billionth of the energy the sun produces. Much of the energy that hits the Earth is reflected back into space. Most of the energy that isn't reflected is absorbed by the Earth's surface. As the surface warms, it also warms the air above it. Source: NASA (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Glossary)

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