What New Information Is There About Increased UV Radiation At The Surface?


Satellite Ozone Data Used To Infer Surface Ultraviolet Radiation Amounts

Most of the interest in stratospheric ozone amounts has come from the role which it plays in absorbing ultraviolet radiation that would otherwise reach the Earth's surface. While ozone amounts have been well characterized from both space- and ground-based platforms, the available data set of high quality surface ultraviolet radiation measurements is much more limited. The possibility of using space-based measurements to infer this quantity holds out the possibility of dramatically increasing our knowledge of the distribution of surface UV radiation and how it has changed with time. Scientists have recently developed an algorithm relating radiances measured by the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) instruments to ultraviolet radiation reaching the Earth's surface. The algorithm, which applies to both cloud-free and cloudy scenes, was tested by comparisons with the Brewer spectrophotometer in Toronto, Canada. For example, the agreement between the inferred and measured UV irradiance at 310 nm for the time period April - November 1990 corresponds to a root mean square difference of only 6.0% averaging over a half month.
Reference: Satellite Estimation of Spectral UVB Irradiance Using TOMS Derived Total Ozone and UV Reflectivity, Eck, T. F. et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 22, pp. 611-614, 1995,.

Federal Agencies Work Together To Create A Uv Monitoring Network And To Issue Uv Index

Federal agencies, including USDA, EPA, National Biological Service (NBS), NSF, NASA, the Smithsonian, and NIST and NOAA in the Department of Commerce have formed an interagency panel under the USGCRP to develop a national network for UV monitoring. The panel is developing a quality assurance program to ensure that all UV measurements from the network will be inter-comparable and of known accuracy and precision The first US government wide instrument inter comparison was held last September. Since June, 1994, a national UV Index has been issued for 58 cities across the US.
Reference: The U.S. Interagency UV Monitoring Plan, USGCRP- 95-01, 1995

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Last updated 04/10/96