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Attenuation of biologically effective UV doses under overcast skies: a case study from the eastern Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean

Journal article
Authors Deliang Chen
Sten-Åke Wängberg
Angela Wulff
Katarina Borne
Published in Deep-Sea Research Part Ii-Topical Studies in Oceanography
Volume 51
Issue 22-24
Pages 2673-2682
ISSN 0967-0645
Publication year 2004
Published at Botanical Institute
Department of Marine Ecology
Pages 2673-2682
Language en
Subject categories Other Biological Topics


This study deals attenuation of ultraviolet solar radiation measured during the SWEDARP 1997/1998 expedition in the eastern Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. Experimental data were measured on board a ship and theoretical computation of radiative transfer has been applied. Focus has been placed on biologically effective UV-B doses using three commonly applied biological weighting functions based on: inhibition of carbon dioxide fixation (Science 258 (1992) 646); Generalized plant effects (Stratospheric Ozone Reduction, Solar Ultraviolet Radiation and Plant Life 1986, Springer, Berlin) and DNA lesions (Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 71 (1974) 3363). The ratio of measured dose to that under clear sky condition, calculated by a model, was defined as transmittance which was studied in relation to other information. Further, the interrelationship between the biologically effective UV doses and various broadband irradiance in the UV-A, UV-B and PAR was established. It shows that the UV-B doses based on the three weighting functions are closely linked to each other and their cloud transmittances are nearly the same. The biologically effective UV-B doses can be estimated with reasonable accuracy from the broadband irradiance in the UV-A, UV-B and PAR regions, with UV-B giving the best results. Univariate analysis between the transmittance and zenith angle, total cloud cover and cloud base height was performed. It is found that attenuation is almost independent of zenith angle. Transmission is reduced by 7.7% if the cloud cover is increased by one octa. The average transmittance of the UV-B doses is 0.40, indicating that clouds have played an important role in reducing the UV radiation. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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