Articles | Volume 8, issue 18
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 5683–5697, 2008
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 5683–5697, 2008

  29 Sep 2008

29 Sep 2008

Effects of urban pollution on UV spectral irradiances

R. L. McKenzie1, C. Weinreis2, P. V. Johnston1, B. Liley1, H. Shiona1, M. Kotkamp1, D. Smale1, N. Takegawa3, and Y. Kondo3 R. L. McKenzie et al.
  • 1National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Lauder, PB 50061 Omakau, Central Otago, New Zealand
  • 2Institute of Meteorology and Climatology, Leibniz University of Hannover, Hannover, Germany
  • 3Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro, Tokyo 153-8904, Japan

Abstract. Spectral measurements of UV irradiances at Tokyo are compared with corresponding measurements at a pristine site (Lauder New Zealand) to identify the causes of the reductions in urban UV irradiances, and to quantify their effects. Tropospheric extinctions in Tokyo were found to be up to ~40% greater than at Lauder. Most of these differences can be explained by differences in cloud and aerosols, but ozone differences are also important in the summer. Examining spectral signatures of tropospheric transmission of both sites shows that reductions due to mean NO2 and SO2 amounts are generally small. However, at times the amount of NO2 can be 10 times higher than the mean amount, and on these days it can decrease the UVA irradiance up to 40%. If SO2 shows comparable day to day variability, it would contribute to significant reductions in UVB irradiances. The results indicate that at Tokyo, interactions between the larger burden of tropospheric ozone and aerosols also have a significant effect. These results have important implications for our ability to accurately retrieve surface UV irradiances at polluted sites from satellites that use backscattered UV. Supplementary data characterising these boundary layer effects are probably needed.

Final-revised paper