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Biologically effective ultraviolet radiation, total ozone abundance, and cloud optical depth at McMUrdo Station, Antarctica September 15 1988 through April 15 1989

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Abstract

Spectral measurements of solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation taken at McMurdo Station, Antarctica arc used to determine biologically effective UV dose, ozone column content, and effective cloud optical depth. The seasonal variation in these parameters from September 15, 1988 through April 15, 1989 is presented and discussed. Although no days from September 15 through October experienced UV dose exceeding that occurring at summer solstice, the temporal variation in the level of UV radiation is markedly asymmetric with respect to summer solstice. A general enhancement by about 20% in biologically effective UV dose in October, 1988 compared to March, 1989 is clearly evident. The main cause of this asymmetry appears to be the coincident deficiency in ozone abundance by about 8% in spring compared to fall. The percent increase in UV dose per percent decrease in ozone abundance is about 2.5 in agreement with theoretical predictions. The total ozone amount is generally depleted (to about 250 DU) during October 1988, but there are large day-to-day fluctuations. Presumably these fluctuations are caused primarily by the motion of the polar vortex. After summer solstice UV radiation levels and ozone amounts exhibit much less pronounced day-to-day fluctuations. No spring/fall asymmetry in cloudiness, as it affects the surface ultraviolet radiation budget, is discernible from the measurements if the surface albedo is assumed to vary symmetrically around solstice.

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