Article

Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 80, Issue 1, pp 17-25

First online:

Relationships between photosynthetically active radiation and clearness index at Bloemfontein, South Africa

  • M. TsuboAffiliated withDepartment of Soil, Crop and Climate Sciences, University of the Free State
  • , S. WalkerAffiliated withDepartment of Soil, Crop and Climate Sciences, University of the Free State

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Summary

Relationships between photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and solar radiation (SR) and between diffuse radiation and global radiation at Bloemfontein, South Africa were investigated. The ratio of PAR to SR (PAR/SR) has been reported from many places in the northern hemisphere, but there were not many PAR/SR measurements documented from the southern hemisphere, including the study region. Based on the present observations, mean PAR/SR in the region (0.48) was not exceptionally different from other reported data (0.45–0.50). The effects of sky condition on PAR/SR were also investigated and confirmed the previous findings. PAR/SR increased as the clearness index (KT = ratio of global to extraterrestrial SR) decreased, as sky conditions varied from clear to cloudy. Thus, PAR/SR can be a simple function of the clearness index (the global PAR model). In this study, PAR/SR was explained by a quadratic function of KT. For the relationship between diffuse and global radiation, a simple linear threshold diffuse PAR model, as a linear function of KT, was proposed for the study region using long-term data of diffuse and global SR. Using the previous findings on the relationship between the ratio of diffuse to global SR (KSR) and the ratio of diffuse to global PAR (KPAR), at high KT, KPAR can be estimated as 30% higher than KSR, while at low KTKPAR is equivalent to KSR.