UV Climatology

UV Climatology

The primary goals of the Monitoring Network are to improve the existing network operations and to develop UV climatology.

UVMRP defines UV climatology to be the description and study of the UV component of climate and its impact on the biosphere. UV climatology characterizes the UV component of climate by analyzing the patterns of UV radiation over many years. It is a characterization of what levels of UV radiation are to be expected and what effects it will have on particular geographic regions at particular times of the year. UV climatology at UVMRP consists of three main program areas:

  • Monitor UV-B radiaiton at the Earth’s surface
  • Study the effects of UV-B radiation on agriculture
  • Develop a predictive understanding of UV climatology using the Climate-Ecosystem-UV Interactions and Economic (CAIE) system

UV climatology uses statistics such as the means and variances of daily UV radiation as they change throughout the year. Other statistics might include the frequency of days with UV radiation exceeding a certain value, or the probability of a certain value being exceeded on a certain day. Just as climate varies across geographic regions, so does the UV component of climate. Thus, it is necessary to develop maps of UV climate. The seasonal patterns of UV radiation in relation to the temporal patterns of drought stress could be a basis for classification, since UV radiation has different effects on plant growth under dry versus moist conditions. Just as climate change studies are of interest, so are studies of changes in the UV component of climate. Thus UV climatology also entails the study of long-term trends and fluctuations of UV radiation. This program area has the following objectives:

  • Continue to maintain existing instrumentation so that UV and visible Solar radiation records remain complete and of the highest quality.
  • Improve in-house calibration and measurement accuracy so that data may be used in the most exacting scientific applications.
  • Employ newly developed in-situ calibration and cross-instrument erythemal MLO checks.
  • Use satellite remote sensing, ancillary data from collocated network stations and radiative transfer modeling for data quality improvements.
  • Explore upgrades to data logging hardware that will allow improved access to measurements such as same day data monitoring.
  • Investigate modern instrumentation which measures solar radiation from UV to visible to near infrared (290 nm to 1100 nm).
  • Develop a UV climatology from existing MFRSR data and satellite data, which will provide UV statistics and trends

The UV Climatology Data Download area provides information over extended spatial and/or temporal domains that are derived from the basic measurements but that are in a form more immediately useful to researchers. In the near future, a new product will be developed which provides user selectable primary or derived data products at one or more UVMRP sites over user defined time periods. This tool will, in a sense, be a shortcut to downloading data and performing external manipulation in order to detect temporal or spatial climatological patterns.