Articles | Volume 17, issue 20
Research article
26 Oct 2017
Research article |  | 26 Oct 2017

Modeling the erythemal surface diffuse irradiance fraction for Badajoz, Spain

Guadalupe Sanchez, Antonio Serrano, and María Luisa Cancillo

Abstract. Despite its important role on the human health and numerous biological processes, the diffuse component of the erythemal ultraviolet irradiance (UVER) is scarcely measured at standard radiometric stations and therefore needs to be estimated. This study proposes and compares 10 empirical models to estimate the UVER diffuse fraction. These models are inspired from mathematical expressions originally used to estimate total diffuse fraction, but, in this study, they are applied to the UVER case and tested against experimental measurements. In addition to adapting to the UVER range the various independent variables involved in these models, the total ozone column has been added in order to account for its strong impact on the attenuation of ultraviolet radiation. The proposed models are fitted to experimental measurements and validated against an independent subset. The best-performing model (RAU3) is based on a model proposed by Ruiz-Arias et al. (2010) and shows values of r2 equal to 0.91 and relative root-mean-square error (rRMSE) equal to 6.1 %. The performance achieved by this entirely empirical model is better than those obtained by previous semi-empirical approaches and therefore needs no additional information from other physically based models. This study expands on previous research to the ultraviolet range and provides reliable empirical models to accurately estimate the UVER diffuse fraction.

Short summary
This study proposes models to estimate the UVER diffuse irradiance, which means, at least, 40 % of the ultraviolet solar radiation reaching the Earth's surface at mid-latitudes. These models are inspired by expressions originally used to estimate total diffuse fraction and rely on variables commonly available to favor their applicability. The best model in this paper performs better than previous approaches and no additional information about the cloud or aerosol layer is needed.
Final-revised paper