Articles | Volume 19, issue 1
31 Jan 2001
 | 31 Jan 2001

A note on the interannual variations of UV-B erythemal doses and solar irradiance from ground-based and satellite observations

C. Zerefos, D. Balis, M. Tzortziou, A. Bais, K. Tourpali, C. Meleti, G. Bernhard, and J. Herman

Abstract. This study examines three UV-B data sets: ground-based long-term spectral records at Thessaloniki, Greece (40.5° N, 22.9° E) and San Diego, California, USA (32.7° N, 117.2° W) as well as a global data set of daily erythemal dose obtained from the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) onboard the Nimbus-7 satellite. Both ground-based stations have long enough records of spectral UV-B measurements to allow independent time series analyses. For 63° solar zenith angle (SZA) and clear sky conditions the quasi biennial oscillation (QBO) effect in solar irradiance at 305nm E305 is about 32% of the annual cycle for both San Diego and Thessaloniki. The effect slightly increases with cloud cover of up to 4/8, and decreases thereafter for cloud cover greater than 4/8. The data reveal that cloudiness can-not offset interannual signals in UV-B records. The observations at San Diego provide an independent confirmation of the widespread nature of the QBO in UV-B, which about coincides in amplitude at the two station studies, both located in the latitude zone 30°– 40° N. The peak-to-peak amplitude of the QBO in erythemal dose derived from TOMS/Nimbus-7 data is 6.5% at Thessaloniki. This is similar to the values calculated from ground-based measurements from this station. Based on satellite data, we find that the amplitude of the QBO in the erythemal dose is almost 40% of the amplitude of the annual cycle only in the tropics. The ratio of the amplitudes of the QBO over the annual cycle in erythemal dose decreases towards the extratropics, becoming less than 5% over middle latitudes.

Key words. Atmospheric composition and structure (geo-chemical cycles; transmission and scattering of radiation)