Science Inventory

Comparison of Five Modeling Approaches to Quantify and Estimate the Effect of Clouds on the Radiation Amplification Factor (RAF) for Solar Ultraviolet Radiation

Citation:

Hall, EricS. Comparison of Five Modeling Approaches to Quantify and Estimate the Effect of Clouds on the Radiation Amplification Factor (RAF) for Solar Ultraviolet Radiation. ATMOSPHERE. MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland, 8(8):153, (2017). https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8080153

Impact/Purpose:

The Radiation Amplification Factor (RAF) is defined as the measured percentage change in ultraviolet (UV) irradiance for each one-percent change in total column ozone. Understanding variations in measured ultraviolet radiation (UVR) over time, along with associated RAF values, assists health scientists in determining risks associated with UVR exposure through the RAF for individuals and the environment. This research project utilized a large dataset of UVR measurements from ten monitoring sites that were diverse with respect to spatial location, geography, climate, altitude, and ecology to calculate RAF using four hypothetical approaches and one empirical model. This research project developed a consistent definition of cloudiness, independent of total column ozone, and temporally close to biologically damaging UV radiation measurements to facilitate direct and consistent comparisons between each of the approaches for modeling RAF. The study found that, in general, RAF tends to increase as the sky conditions change from high to moderate cloudiness.

Description:

A generally accepted value for the Radiation Amplification Factor (RAF), with respect to the erythemal action spectrum for sunburn of human skin, is −1.1, indicating that a 1.0% increase in stratospheric ozone leads to a 1.1% decrease in the biologically damaging UV radiation in the erythemal action spectrum reaching the Earth. The RAF is used to quantify the non-linear change in the biologically damaging UV radiation in the erythemal action spectrum as a function of total column ozone (O3). Spectrophotometer measurements recorded at ten US monitoring sites were used in this analysis, and over 71,000 total UVR measurement scans of the sky were collected at those 10 sites between 1998 and 2000 to assess the RAF value. This UVR dataset was examined to determine the specific impact of clouds on the RAF. Five de novo modeling approaches were used on the dataset, and the calculated RAF values ranged from a low of −0.80 to a high of −1.38.

URLs/Downloads:

https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8080153   Exit

Comparison of Five Modeling Approaches to Quantify and Estimate the Effect of Clouds on the Radiation Amplification Factor (RAF) for Solar Ultraviolet Radiation   Exit

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 08/17/2017
Record Last Revised: 05/17/2018
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 337368

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY

SYSTEMS EXPOSURE DIVISION

ECOLOGICAL & HUMAN COMMUNITY ANALYSIS BRANCH