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Keywords:

  • UV;
  • irradiance;
  • trends

[1] Zonal average ultraviolet irradiance (flux ultraviolet, FUV) reaching the Earth's surface has significantly increased since 1979 at all latitudes except the equatorial zone. Changes are estimated in zonal average FUV caused by ozone and cloud plus aerosol reflectivity using an approach based on Beer's law for monochromatic and action spectrum weighted irradiances. For four different cases, it is shown that Beer's Law leads to a power law form similar to that applied to erythemal action spectrum weighted irradiances. Zonal and annual average increases in FUV were caused by decreases in ozone amount from 1979 to 1998. After 1998, midlatitude annual average ozone amounts and UV irradiance levels have been approximately constant. In the Southern Hemisphere, zonal and annual average UV increase is partially offset by tropospheric cloud and aerosol transmission decreases (hemispherical dimming), and to a lesser extent in the Northern Hemisphere. Ozone and 340 nm reflectivity changes have been obtained from multiple joined satellite time series from 1978 to 2008. The largest zonal average increases in FUV have occurred in the Southern Hemisphere. For clear-sky conditions at 50°S, zonal average FUV changes are estimated (305 nm, 23%; erythemal, 8.5%; 310 nm, 10%; vitamin D production, 12%). These are larger than at 50°N (305 nm, 9%; erythemal, 4%; 310 nm, 4%; vitamin D production, 6%). At the latitude of Buenos Aires, Argentina (34.6°S), the clear-sky FUV increases are comparable to the increases near Washington, D. C. (38.9°N): 305 nm, 9% and 7%; erythemal, 6% and 4%; and vitamin D production, 7% and 5%, respectively.