Climatology of Ultraviolet Radiation at High Latitudes Derived from Measurements of the National Science Foundation’s Ultraviolet Spectral Irradiance Monitoring Network

  • Germar Bernhard
  • Charles R. Booth
  • James C. Ehramjian

Abstract

Solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation has been measured at seven sites of the National Science Foundation’s UV Spectral Irradiance Monitoring Network (UVSIMN) for up to 20 years. Data are used to establish a UV climatology for each site and to quantify differences between sites. Most locations are at high latitudes and include the South Pole; two research stations at the Antarctic coast (McMurdo and Palmer); the city of Ushuaia at the tip of South America; the Arctic village of Barrow; and Summit, a research camp established at the top of Greenland’s ice sheet. UV levels at San Diego, California were also analyzed as an example of a lower-latitude location. The climatologies focus on the UV Index, which was derived from measured solar spectra of global irradiance. For each site and day of year, the average, median, and maximum UV Index at solar noon, as well as 10th and 90th percentile values, were calculated. Measurements were also compared with pre-ozone-hole UV levels estimated from historical measurements of total ozone. The analysis indicates a large effect of the ozone hole on the UV Index at the three Antarctic sites, and to a lesser extent at Ushuaia. UV Indices measured at South Pole during the ozone hole period (October and November) are 20% – 80% larger than measurements at comparable solar elevations during summer months. During October and November, the average UV Index between 1991 and 2006 was 55% – 85% larger than the estimate for the years 1963 – 1980. The UV Index at McMurdo shows a similar asymmetry about the solstice. In October and November, the average UV Index is about 30% – 60% higher now than it was historically. The largest UV Index ever measured at Palmer was 14.8. This value exceeds the maximum UV Index of 12.0 observed at San Diego. While the average UV Index at Ushuaia is fairly symmetrical about the solstice, maximum UV Indices as high as 11.5 have occurred in October at times when the ozone hole passed over the city. The annual cycle of UV radiation at Barrow is governed by large seasonal changes of total ozone, albedo, and cloud cover. The UV Index does not exceed 5 due to less severe ozone depletion over the Arctic: changes in UV over the last 30 years are on average less than ±8%. A comparison of UV levels at network locations reveals that differences between sites greatly depend upon the selection of the quantity used for the comparison. Average noontime UV Indices at San Diego during summer are considerably larger than noontime UV levels under the ozone hole at all Antarctic sites. The difference diminishes, however, when daily doses are compared because of the effect of 24 hours of sunlight during Antarctic summers. Data analysis further revealed that broken clouds at the South Pole can enhance spectral UV irradiance at 400 nm by up to 30% above the clear-sky value due to multiple reflections between the snow-covered surface and the cloud ceiling.

Keywords

solar ultraviolet radiation Antarctica Arctic 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bernhard G, Booth CR, and Ehramjian JC (2004) Version 2 Data of the National Science Foundation’s Ultraviolet Radiation Monitoring Network: South Pole. J. Geophys. Res. 109:D21207, doi:10.1029/2004JD004937CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bernhard G, Booth CR, and Ehramjian JC (2005) UV Climatology at Palmer Station, Antarctica. In: Bernhard G, Slusser JR, Herman JR, Gao W (eds) Ultraviolet Ground-and Space-based Measurements, Models, and Effects V. Proceedings of SPIE International Society of Optical Engineering 5886, pp.588607-1–588607-12Google Scholar
  3. Bernhard G, Booth CR, Ehramjian JC, and Quang VV (2006a) NSF Polar Programs UV Spectroradiometer Network 2004–2005 Operations Report, Volume 14.0, p.257, Biospherical Instruments Inc., San Diego, CA, http://www.biospherical.com/NSFGoogle Scholar
  4. Bernhard G, Booth CR, Ehramjian JC, and Nichol SE (2006b) UV climatology at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, Version 2 Data of the National Science Foundation’s Ultraviolet Radiation Monitoring Network. J. Geophys. Res. 111:D11201, doi:10.1029/2005JD005857CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bernhard G, Booth CR, Ehramjian JC, Stone R, and Dutton EG (2007) Ultraviolet and visible radiation at Barrow, Alaska: Climatology and influencing factors on the basis of Version 2 National Science Foundation network data. J. Geophys. Res. 112:D09101, doi:10.1029/ 2006JD007865CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bernhard G, Booth CR, and Ehramjian JC (2008) Comparison of UV irradiance measurements at Summit, Greenland; Barrow, Alaska; and South Pole. Antarctica. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 8: 4799–4810, http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/8/4799/CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bodhaine BA and Dutton EG (1993) A long-term decrease in Artic haze at Barrow, Alaska. Geophys. Res. Lett. 20: 947–950CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Booth CR, Lucas TB, Morrow JH, Weiler CS, and Penhale PA (1994) The United States National Science Foundation’s polar network for monitoring ultraviolet radiation. Weiler CS, Penhale PA (eds). Antarc. Res. Ser. 62: 17–37Google Scholar
  9. Chubachi S (1984) Preliminary results of ozone observations at Syowa Station from February 1982 to January 1983. Mem. Natl. Inst. Polar Res. Jap., Spec. Issue 34: 13–19Google Scholar
  10. Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory (CMDL) (2004) Summary Report 27, 2002–2003. Schnell RC, Buggle A-M, Rosson RM (eds) U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Boulder, COGoogle Scholar
  11. Dutton EG, Farhadi A, Stone RS, Long CN, and Nelson DW (2004) Long-term variations in the occurrence and effective solar transmission of clouds as determined from surface-based total irradiance observations. J. Geophys. Res. 109:D03204, doi:10.1029/2003JD003568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Farman JC, Gardiner BG, and Shanklin JD (1985) Large losses of total ozone in Antarctica reveal seasonal ClOx/NOx interaction. Nature 315: 207–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fioletov VE, McArthur LJB, Kerr JB, and Wardle DI (2001) Long-term variations of UV-B irradiance over Canada estimated from Brewer observations and derived from ozone and pyranometer measurements. J. Geophys. Res. 106(D19): 23009–23028, 10.1029/2001JD000367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Grenfell TC, Warren SG, and Mullen PC (1994) Reflection of solar radiation by the Antarctic snow surface at ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared wavelengths. J. Geophys. Res. 99(D9): 18669–18684CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gröbner J, Blumthaler M, Kazadzis S, Bais A, Webb A, Schreder J, Seckmeyer G, and Rembges D (2006) Quality assurance of spectral solar UV measurements: results from 25 UV monitoring sites in Europe, 2002 to 2004. Metrologia 43: S66–S71, DOI:10.1088/0026-1394/43/2/S14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Holton JR, Haynes PH, McIntyre ME, Douglass AR, Rood RB, and Pfister L (1995) Stratosphere-troposphere exchange. Rev. Geophys. 33(4): 403–440CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kaye JA, Hicks BB, Weatherhead EC, Long CS, and Slusser JR (1999) U.S. Interagency UV Monitoring Program established and operating. EOS 80(10): 113–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Knudsen BM and Andersen SB (2001) Longitudinal variation in springtime ozone trends Nature 413: 699–700CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mayer B and Kylling A (2005) Technical note: the libRadtran software package for radiative transfer calculations—description and examples of use. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 5: 1855–1877, http://www.atmos-chem-phys.org/acp/5/1855/CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McKenzie R, Connor B, and Bodeker G (1999) Increased summertime UV radiation in New Zealand in response to ozone loss. Science 285(5434): 1709–1711, DOI:10.1126/science. 285.5434.1709CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. McKinlay AF and Diffey BL (eds) (1987) A reference action spectrum for ultraviolet induced erythema in human skin. In: Commission International de l’Éclairage (CIE). Research Note 6(1): 17–22Google Scholar
  22. McPeters RD and Labow GJ (1996) An assessment of the accuracy of 14.5 years of Nimbus 7 TOMS Version 7 ozone data by comparison with the Dobson network. Geophys. Res. Lett. 23(25): 3695–3698CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mims FM and Frederick JE (1994) Cumulus clouds and UVB. Nature 371: 291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Moan J and Dahlback A (1992) The relationship between skin cancers, solar radiation, and ozone depletion. British Journal of Cancer 65: 916–921Google Scholar
  25. Moline MA, Prézelin BB, Schofield O, and Smith RC (1997) Temporal dynamics of coastal Antarctic phytoplankton: environmental driving forces and impact of a 1991/1992 summer diatom bloom on the nutrient regimes. In: Battaglia B, Valencia J, Walton DWH (eds) Antarctic Communities. Cambridge Press, London, 67–72Google Scholar
  26. Nichol SE, Pfister G, Bodeker GE, McKenzie RL, Wood SW, and Bernhard G (2003) Moderation of cloud reduction of UV in the Antarctic due to high surface albedo. J. Appl. Meteorol. 42(8): 1174–1183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rex M, Salawitch RJ, von der Gathen P, Harris NRP, Chipperfield MP, and Naujokat B (2004) Arctic ozone loss and climate change. Geophys. Res. Lett. 31:L04116, doi:10.1029/2003GL018844CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ricchiazzi P, Gautier C, and Lubin D (1995) Cloud scattering optical depth and local surface albedo in the Antarctic: simultaneous retrieval using ground-based radiometry. J. Geophys. Res. 100(D10): 21091–21104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Shaw GE (1982) Atmospheric turbidity in the Polar regions. J. Appl. Meteorol. 21: 1080–1088CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Seckmeyer G, Erb R, and Albold A (1996) Transmittance of a cloud is wavelength-dependent in the UV-range. Geophys. Res. Lett. 23(20): 2753–2756CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Stone RS, Dutton EG, Harris JM, and Longenecker D (2002) Earlier spring snowmelt in northern Alaska as an indicator of climate change. J. Geophys. Res. 107(D10): 4089, doi:10.1029/2000JD000286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Vanicek K, Frei T, Litynska Z, and Schmalwieser A (2000) UV-Index for the public, COST-713 Action. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg. ISBN 92-828–8142-3, 27Google Scholar
  33. Weatherhead EC, Reinsel CG, Tiao GC, Meng X-L, Choi D, Cheang W-K, Keller T, DeLuisi JJ, Wuebbles DJ, Kerr JB, Miller AJ, Oltmans SJ, and Frederick JE (1998) Factors affecting the detection of trends: statistical considerations and applications to environmental data. J. Geophys. Res. 103(D14): 17149–17161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. World Health Organization (WHO) (2002) Global solar UV Index: a practical guide. ISBN 9241590076, Geneva, Switzerland. http://www.unep.org/PDF/Solar_Index_Guide.pdf. p.28Google Scholar
  35. World Meteorology Organization (WMO) (2007) Scientific assessment of ozone depletion: 2006, Global ozone research and monitoring project, Geneva, Switzerland, Report No. 50, p.572Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press, Beijing and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Germar Bernhard
    • 1
  • Charles R. Booth
    • 1
  • James C. Ehramjian
    • 1
  1. 1.Biospherical Instruments Inc.San DiegoUSA

Personalised recommendations