Factors affecting solar ultraviolet irradiance measured since 1990 at Thessaloniki, Greece

International Journal of Remote Sensing (Impact Factor: 1.36). 07/2009; 30:4167-4179. DOI: 10.1080/01431160902822864

ABSTRACT Factors affecting the solar spectral ultraviolet (UV) irradiance at Thessaloniki, Greece were investigated using measurements with single-and double-monochromator Brewer spectroradiometer, which started operating respectively in 1989 and 1993 and continue up to the present. The two data records were quality controlled, homogenized and finally merged into one dataset, which was used in the analysis. Subsets of these data corresponding to different solar zenith angles (SZAs) and to cloud-free skies were used to quantify the long-term changes in surface UV irradiance at different wavelengths, and the importance of the factors responsible for these changes is discussed. It is shown that the calculated UV changes vary with SZA due to the different atmospheric path of the photons and the dependence of the diffuse to direct irradiance ratio on the SZA. The effect of total ozone and aerosols on UV irradiance is examined and the corresponding radiation amplification factors (RAFs) at the various wavelengths are calculated. The observed changes in UV irradiance due to ozone are smaller than those expected for the changes in total ozone, suggesting that the influence of the ozone is masked by other factors. An important finding of this study is that the improvement in air quality at Thessaloniki, during the period under examination, is the main reason for the observed increase in solar UV irradiance.

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