Ultraviolet Radiation and Its Interaction with Air Pollution

1 2 William F. Barnard and Brian N. Wenny

1 North Carolina State University, Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, Campus Box 8208 Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-8208, USA E-mail: [email protected] 2 MODIS Characterization Support Team (MCST) Sigma Space Corp. 10210 Greenbelt Road, Suite 500

Lanham, MD 20706 E-mail: [email protected]

Abstract This chapter contains the methodology, along with study examples, that show the types of interactions that the sun's ultraviolet (UV) spectrum has with the various pollutants in the earth's atmosphere, predominantly those in the troposphere. In the context of this chapter, the absorption of UV by gaseous pollutants (stratospheric ozone is not considered a pollutant) has been observed to present a much smaller problem than originally thought. Additionally, aerosols, particularly black carbon, play a much larger role. One must keep in mind that only two studies are presented here in determining site specific UV transmissions to the surface. Each site has its own variables, not the least of which is the differing combinations of scattering and absorbing aerosols. There is a great need to characterize more sites and identify aerosol types according to their chemical species and by doing so, relate the species to the single scatter albedo and aerosol optical depth. It will then become possible to transfer this ground-based knowledge to satellite observation points so that predictions of surface UV can become more accurate in protecting our environment.

Keywords aerosols, single scatter albedo, black carbon, atmospheric optical depth, particulate scattering and absorption

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment