• Ozone depletion and biologically relevant ultraviolet radiation

      Zeng, Jun; Stamnes, Knut; Benner, Richard; Bowling, Sue Ann; Eslinger, David; Kawasaki, Koji; Watkins, Brenton (1995)
      An atmospheric radiative transfer model is used to calculate surface spectral ultraviolet irradiance under cloud-free conditions, and compared with measurements made at Lauder, New Zealand (45$\sp\circ{S}$, 170$\sp\circ{E})$ before and after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, and including a snow-covered surface. The ratios of diffuse to direct irradiance depend critically on solar elevation, surface albedo, and aerosol extinction. Ozone changes have pronounced effects on the global UVB irradiance, but have only a minor effect on these ratios. The comparison suggests that the ultraviolet radiation exposure can be computed with confidence for clear sky conditions, if the appropriate atmospheric pressure and temperature profiles, ozonesonde data, surface albedo, and aerosol optical properties are available. The total ozone abundances are derived by using ground-based UV irradiance measurements and compared with TOMS in Antarctica and the Arctic from 1990 to 1994. The comparisons show that they are generally in good agreement. Possible reasons for the discrepancies between the two methods are discussed. The equivalent cloud optical depths are also inferred from these data. Ozone depletion can also increase the penetration of ultraviolet radiation into the aquatic system. A coupled atmosphere-ocean radiative transfer model is used to investigate the effect of ozone depletion on UV penetration through the atmosphere and into the underlying water column. Comparisons between model computations and in situ measurements of irradiances made in Antarctic water show good agreement in the UV spectral range between 300 and 350 nm. The ratio of UVB (280-320 nm) to total (280-700 nm) irradiance also compared well. For a given ozone reduction the largest relative increase of UVB radiation arriving at the surface and penetrating to various depths in the ocean occurs at large solar zenith angles. At high latitudes the most pronounced increase in UVB exposure due to an ozone depletion occurs in the early spring, when ozone depletion is expected to be the most severe. The sensitivities of irradiance reflectance and diffuse attenuation coefficients to solar zenith angle, sky conditions, and chlorophyll concentration are discussed by using a coupled atmosphere-ocean radiative transfer model. The irradiance reflectance is sensitive to solar zenith angle, cloud cover, and chlorophyll concentration; the diffuse attenuation coefficient is sensitive to solar zenith angle and chlorophyll concentration, but less sensitive to sky conditions.