Aerosol forcing efficiency in the UVA region from spectral solar irradiance measurements at an urban environment
Abstract. Spectral Ultraviolet (UV) measurements using a Brewer MKIII double spectroradiometer were used for the determination of the aerosol forcing efficiency (RFE) under cloud free conditions at Thessaloniki, Greece for the period 1998–2006. Using measured spectral UVA irradiance in combination with synchronous aerosol optical depth (AOD) measurements at 340 nm, we calculated the seasonal and the percent RFE changes with the help of radiative transfer model calculations used for cloud and aerosol free conditions reference. The calculated RFE for the 325–340 nm wavelength integral was found to be −0.71±0.30 W m−2/τs340 nm and corresponds to a mean calculated RFE% value of −15.2%±3.8% (2 σ) per unit of τs340 nm, for the whole period. This indicates a mean reduction of 15.2% of the 325–340 nm irradiance for a unit of aerosol optical depth slant column increase. Lower RFE% was found during summertime, which is a possible indication of lower absorbing aerosols. Mean AOD slant at 340 nm for the city of Thessaloniki were processed in combination with RFE% and a mean monthly UVA attenuation of ~10% for the whole period was revealed. The nine years' analysis results showed a reduction in RFE%, which provides a possible indication of the changes in the optical properties over the city area. If such changes are only due to changes in the aerosol absorbing properties, the above finding suggests a 2% per decade increase in UVA due to changes in the aerosol absorption properties, in addition to the calculated increase by 4.2%, which is attributed only to AOD decrease at Thessaloniki area over the 1998–2006 period.