What happens to the sunlight that is not absorbed by earth's surface?
It goes somewhere else. Specifically, assuming you mean energy radiated by the Sun, most of it goes out to space and just continues going on - never hitting anything. The energy not reaching the surface is either reflected or absorbed by the atmosphere, including clouds. In fact, about 42% of the Sun's energy doesn't reach the Earth's surface.
What percentage of the solar energy that reaches the outer atmosphere is absorbed at the earth's surface?
what you want to know: about 50% is absorbed by Earth's surface other stuff: 30% is reflected by earths surface 20% is absorbed by ozone, clouds, and atmospheric gases and 25% is scattered and reflected by clouds and air where i got the info from Hold Science & Technology Weather and Climate Hold, Rinehart and Winston A Hardcourt Education Company Orlando- Austin- New York- San Diego- Toronto- London