, Volume 59, Issue 3, pp 219-236
Date: 01 Jul 2008

Influence of natural and anthropogenic activities on UV Index variations – a study over tropical urban region using ground based observations and satellite data

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Measurements of total ozone column and solar UV radiation under different atmospheric conditions are needed to define variations of both UV and ozone and to study the impact of ozone depletion at the Earth’s surface. In this study, spectral and broadband measurements of UV-B irradiance were obtained along with total ozone observations and aerosol optical depth measurements in the tropical urban region of Hyderabad, south India. We specifically used an Ultra-Violet Multifilter Rotating Shadow band Radiometer (UVMFR-SR), to measure UV irradiance in time and space. To assess the aerosol and O3 effects on ground-reaching UV irradiance, we used measurements from a Microtops II sun photometer in addition to the Tropospheric Ultraviolet Visible radiation (TUV) model. We also assessed the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program – Operational Line Scanner (DMSP-OLS) night time satellite data for inferring biomass burning fires during the study period. Results clearly suggested a negative correlation between the DMSP-OLS satellite derived fire count data and UVMFR-SR data suggesting that aerosols from biomass burning are directly attenuating UV irradiance in the study region. Also, correlation analysis between UV index and ozone measurements from sun photometer and TOMS-Ozone Mapping Instrument (OMI) indicated a clear decrease in ground reaching UV-B irradiance during higher ozone conditions. The higher levels are attributed to photochemical production of O3 during the oxidation of trace gases emitted from biomass burning. Results also suggested a relatively high attenuation in UV irradiance (~6% higher) from smoke particles than dust. We also found a relatively good agreement between the modeled (TUV) and measured UV irradiance spectra for different atmospheric conditions. Our results highlight the factors affecting UV irradiance in a tropical urban environment, south India.