Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Ozone column retrieval from solar UV measurements at ground level: Effects of clouds and results from six European sites



[1] A differential absorption method, developed by the Laboratoire d'Optique Atmosphérique (LOA), is applied to retrieve the total ozone column from UV global irradiance spectra under clear and cloudy sky conditions. Contrarily to clear sky, cloudy sky generates a high uncertainty in the retrieved ozone column. This study shows that under cloudy conditions the daily ozone mean is a rather good estimation of the true value. The standard deviation allows us to estimate the relative uncertainty of this mean value, i.e., about 7%. Results for all conditions from 3 years at Villeneuve d'Ascq are presented, as well as a comparison with TOMS (Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer) data. The results are very similar to those obtained for clear days: In 75% of cases both values agree to within 5%; however, some cases present larger relative differences. Over the 3 years considered, there is a bias less than 3% (LOA > TOMS). This method is applied to five other European sites involved in the EDUCE (European Database for UV Climatology and Evaluation) project. Three of them are Brewer stations. The results of the comparison between the LOA-retrieved ozone and TOMS data show that a relative difference smaller than 5% is obtained in 63–80% of the cases, depending on site and year. Biases smaller than 3% are observed (LOA > TOMS). The comparison between the LOA-retrieved ozone and total ozone data from direct sun and zenith sky observations of the Brewer instruments shows better agreement. For more than about 80% of cases, except at one site, the relative difference is smaller than 5%, and the biases are smaller than 1%. The LOA method allows us to obtain a complementary data set and hence to provide time series of reliable measurements of total ozone column under all sky conditions.