As such the fuel for earth’s Carbon cycle. Wouldn’t photons be the alleged “electromagnetic” mode of energy transfer into earth? Providing energy for the endothermic photosynthetic processes and heat for all and mass exposed to this energy modality. Mass can be gas, liquid or solid. In All instances converting thermic or light energy into increased molecular motion. What would be the vector for energy to be transferred out of earth atmosphere into the empty firmament.
Photons do not emit energy but rather, carry stored kinetic energy that has the potential to give or TAKE AWAY heat so, to answer your question, they ARE an energy vector but would think they are not the fuel for the Carbon Cycle since they get scattered by particles and water vapour....which leads me to think they are part of the cocktail, but not the fuel in itself. Here is an excellent visual and summarized source for interactions of radiation with the atmosphere > https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/maps-tools-publications/satellite-imagery-air-photos/remote-sensing-tutorials/introduction/interactions-atmosphere/14635
I believe you have asked an excellent question and look forward to reading the subsequent responses.