Almost all energy on Earth can be derived from the Sun, with the majority found in the form of incoming solar radiation. The atmosphere, the thin layer of gases that surrounds and protects Earth, is responsible for the transfer of this energy around the globe and into other parts of the Earth System such as the oceans. It absorbs UV, visible, and infrared radiation from space, and emits infrared radiation back again once it has been reflected off Earth’s surface. Ultimately, global warming is driven by processes that interfere with earth’s radiation budget (the incoming solar radiation vs the outgoing terrestrial radiation). In order to understand the long term changes to our climate, the behaviour of energy in our atmosphere, including the scattering of waves and ions, cloud formation, the circulation of heat and fluids, and the interactions of radiation with the atmosphere itself, all need to be considered.