Radiation at the Earth surface is a key determinant for the genesis and evolution of climate and the primary source for life. The aim of this session is to bring together newly available information on the spatial and temporal distribution of surface radiative fluxes from various sources, such as direct measurements, satellite-derived products and modelling efforts. Scales considered may range from local to continental and global scales. Results from the GEWEX Radiative Flux Assessment will be featured in this session. In addition, radiation related studies on the spatial and temporal variation of cloud properties, albedo, water vapour and aerosols, which are essential for our understanding of radiative forcings and their relation to climate changes, are encouraged. Studies focusing on the impact of radiative forcings on the various components of the climate system are also much appreciated.