# At what rate does Earth's atmosphere shed heat into space? [closed]

If we had a heat bank account (the atmosphere)
+ heat cash supply (ice)
+ heat debt (the oceans)

could governments find a way to balance our heat economy that doesn't kill everything? I think I'd rather have Mother Nature fix it, but we need to be ready for her mood swings (hurricanes, wind storms, waves).

• I've answered below the question on the title. However, an initially clear question becomes unclear with you text. I would suggest rephrasing it. Also consider that heat can't be measured in Kelvin, so you can't expect an answer in Kelvin. – Camilo Rada Apr 12 '18 at 5:29

I don't fully get the rationale of your energy budget analogy. Nevertheless, the main question is easy to address. The Earth's effective radiating temperature is -21°C and its emissivity approximately 0.96 (source). Plugging all that on the Stefan–Boltzmann law, you get that Earth's atmosphere sends energy out to outer space at a rate of 220 $W/m^2$, totalling for the whole Earth approximately $112 \times 10^{15}$ or 112 PW (Peta Watts). Over a year that means approximately $3.5 \times 10^{24}$ J.