Solar Radiation

Solar radiation is the level of light energy reaching the earth, which is a key driver of plant growth. Increasing sunshine allows for higher levels of photosynthesis and therefore higher levels of growth.

In winter, when the sun's radiation must travel a longer distance through the atmosphere and when the sun is obscured by clouds, radiation levels will be much lower than during peak summer. Sunshine levels in mid winter may peak at 200 to 300 watts/m2, whereas in mid summer they exceed 1000 watts/m2.

A figure of 80 watts/m2  is usually considered as the threshold between day and night. Levels over 1000 watts/m2 correlate to a high risk of sun damage to skin and crops.

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