UV index climatology over the United States and Canada from ground-based and satellite estimates

Vitali E. Fioletov*, M. G. Kimlin, N. Krotkov, L. J.B. McArthur, J. B. Kerr, D. I. Wardle, J. R. Herman, R. Meltzer, T. W. Mathews, J. Kaurola

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Long-term monthly mean UV index values for Canada and the United States were calculated using information from two sources: from noon erythemal UV estimated from Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) total ozone and reflectivity data and from UV index values derived from observations of global solar radiation, total ozone, dew point, and snow cover. The results are presented as monthly maps of mean noon UV index values. Mean UV index values in summer range from 1.5 in the Arctic to 11.5 over southern Texas. Both climatologies were validated against spectral UV irradiance measurements made by Brewer spectrophotometers. With snow on the ground the TOMS-based data underestimate UV by up to 60% with respect to Brewer measurements and UV derived from global solar radiation and other parameters. In summer, TOMS UV index climatology values are from 10 to 30% higher than those derived from global solar radiation and other parameters. The difference is probably related to aerosol absorption and pollution effects in the lower troposphere that are not currently detected from space. For 21 of 28 midlatitude Brewer sites, long-term mean summer UV measured values and UV derived from global solar radiation and other parameters agree to within -5 to -7%. The remaining seven sites are located in "clean" environments where TOMS estimates agree with Brewer measurements while UV derived from global solar radiation and other parameters is 10-13% lower. Brewer data also demonstrate that clean and "typical" sites can be as little as 70-120 km apart.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres
Volume109
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes

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