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Measurements of spectral solar UV irradiance in tropical Australia

: Bernhard, G.; Mayer, B.; Seckmeyer, G.; Moise, A.


Journal of geophysical research. D, Atmospheres 102 (1997), Nr.7, S.8719-8730 : Ill., Lit.
ISSN: 0148-0227
Fraunhofer IFU; 2002 in Helmholtz-Gesellschaft integriert

Measurements of global spectral irradiance in the UV and visible range were carried out during December 1995 and January 1996 in Townsville, Australia (19.33 deg S, 146.76 deg E, 30 m above sea level (asl)) using the mobile spectroradiometer of the Fraunhofer Institute for Atmospheric Environmental Research, Germany. These are, to our knowledge, the first reported spectral UV measurements in the tropics of Australia. For cloudless days, the spectral measurements are consistent with results of a radiative transfer model. In the UVA, measurement and model agree within ¤10 per cent for solar elevations above 10 degree. In the UVB, the differences are larger (about 15 per dent at 300 nm), which can be explained by uncertainties in the model input parameters of total ozone column and ozone absorption cross section. The variation of the daily erythemal irradiation was found to be ¤24 per cent (¤ 1 sigma) for the period of the campaign. The variation of the total ozone column contributes less than ¤3 per cent to this variability; the main part is introduced by clouds. These attenuate UV irradiation less than total irradiation (300 nm - 3000 nm); the daily total irradiation averaged over the period of the campaign was reduced by a factor of 0.71 owing to cloudiness compared to the clear-sky case while the erythemal irradiation was only diminished by a factor of 0.78. Using long-term records of total irradiation and ozone column, the parameters influencing UV radiation on Earth were found to be typical for the period and site of the campaign. The maximum erythemally weighted irradiance measured during the campaign was 429 mW/m2 and the average daily erythemal irradiation for this period was 6.06 kJ/m2. These high radiation levels were found to exceed the corresponding values for Garmisch-Partenkirchen.(47.5 deg N, 11.0 deg E, 730 m asl), Germany, by between 55 and 70 per cent. This pronounced difference in the radiation environment between Australia and Germany is explained by the higher solar elevation and the lower ozone column in the tropics.