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Editors Wei Gao

Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory Colorado State University, USA E-mail: [email protected]

Daniel L. Schmoldt Cooperative State Research Education & Extension Service Waterfront Centre, Ste.3422 800 9th Street SW Washington DC 20024, USA E-mail: [email protected]

James R.Slusser

Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory Colorado State University, USA E-mail: [email protected]

ISBN 978-7-302-20360-5 Tsinghua University Press, Beijing

ISBN 978-3-642-03312-4 e-ISBN 978-3-642-03313-1

Springer Heidelberg Dordrecht London New York

Library of Congress Control Number: 2009931054

© Tsinghua University Press, Beijing and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

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Preface

Over the past three decades, the scientific community has realized the urgency of obtaining a better understanding of the interaction between the earth's atmosphere/ biosphere and the sun's radiant energy. Most of the research has focused on the radiant energy balances in the solar and infrared regions of the spectrum, and the way these energy flows affect the climate. During this same time frame, in a related arena, a smaller group of dedicated individuals has concentrated on the role of ultraviolet (UV) radiation as it affects the overall welfare of the planet. Although comprising only a small fraction of the radiation balance that may play a role in global climate change over the next centuries, UV radiation has the capacity to cause direct and more immediate harm to virtually all living organisms and especially to human health. Cumulative high doses of UV radiation are considered a major causal factor in the development of skin cancer and cataracts. Ultraviolet radiation can weaken the human immune system, and can also affect crop production and ocean bio-productivity.

Concerns about the increased levels of UV-B radiation reaching the earth's surface have led to the development of ground- and space-based measurement programs to provide long-term records of its levels. Accurate long-term measurements are difficult to obtain, especially when limited to the bandwidth regions that contain the most harmful solar photons. A core of concerned scientists from across the globe realizes that much work is needed in quantifying the harmful radiation levels and defining their adverse effects. In assessing the effects of UV-B radiation, it is important to realize the complexity of the interactions of living organisms that cause adverse responses with radiant energy directly, as well as in combination with other climate stressors, such as drought, increased temperatures, and CO2.

This book addresses work that has been conducted throughout the world over the past three decades, such as: (1) current efforts for establishing a climatology of UV radiation; (2) modeling the UV component and its impact on ecosystems, human health, and related economic and social implications; (3) new developments in

UV instrumentation, advances in calibration (ground-based and satellite-based) measurement methods; and (4) the effects of global climate change on UV radiation. All chapters, including the review chapters, have been solicited from renowned scientists in their research fields of UV radiation, meteorology, the environment, and ecosystems. They have presented their work based on research at the global scale, taking into consideration possible future developments. Many new techniques and methods developed from space-ground measurements, mathematical modeling, and remote sensing have recently become available, yet have not previously been presented. This book will be a useful source of reference for undergraduate and graduate students who are involved in the study of global change, environmental science, meteorology, climatology, biology, and agricultural and forest sciences. It will also benefit scientists in related research fields, as well as professors, policy makers, and the general public.

As editors of this book, we wish to express our great appreciation for the contributions of many individuals. We are indebted to the over 50 authors and co-authors within the scientific community who have shared their expertise and contributed much time and effort in the preparation of the book chapters. We also wish to give credit to the numerous funding sources promoting the scientific research performed, and thus the valuable findings shared by the authors. We express our appreciation to the many reviewers and expert scientists who took the time to offer valuable comments and suggestions for the improvement of the book chapters. We acknowledge the management and editorial assistance of Laurie Richards and the technical support of Jonathan Straube of the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University and Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag. We especially want to express our appreciation for the support of the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the USDA UV-B Monitoring and Research Program at Colorado State University. The efforts of many individuals including Drs. John Moore, John Davis, Steve Liu, Ni-Bin Chang, Mr. George Janson, and Ms. Rita Deike are appreciated.

Dr. Wei Gao Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO Dr. Daniel Schmoldt U.S. Department of Agriculture Washington, D.C.

May 2009

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