Ultraviolet Radiation modelling from ground based and satellite measurements at Reunion Island, Southern Tropics.

11 November 2017


Surface ultraviolet radiation (SUR) is not an increasing concern after the implementation of the Montreal Protocol and the recovery of the ozone layer (Morgenstern et al., 2008). However large uncertainties remain in the prediction of the future changes of SUR (Bais et al., 2015). It has long been known that its variability depends on ozone levels and also on clouds, aerosol and albedo. It is therefore essential to monitor its evolution in the context of global change. Unfortunately, there are few ground-based stations measuring surface UV irradiance in the southern tropics and particularly in the Indian Ocean, and long-term time series are required to study SUR variability and its relationship to ozone and to detect trends.

Reunion Island is located in the tropics (21° S, 55° E), in a part of the world where the amount of ozone in the ozone column is naturally low. In addition, this island is mountainous and the marine atmosphere is often clean with low aerosol concentrations. Thus, measurements show much higher SUR than at other sites at the same latitude or at mid-latitudes. Several studies pointed out that UV-B impacts the biosphere (Erickson III et al., 2015), especially aquatic system, which plays a central part in biogeochemical cycle (Hader et al., 2007). It can affect phytoplankton productivity (Smith and Cullen, 1995). This influence can result in either positive or negative feedback on climate (Zepp et al., 2007). In order to quantify the future evolution of SUR in the tropics, it is necessary to validate a model against present observations. This study is designed to be a preliminary parametric and sensitivity study of SUR modelling in the tropics.

Ground-based measurements of SUR have been performed at Reunion Island by a BENTHAM DTMc300 spectroradiometer since 2009. This instrument is part of the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC). In this study, we used the UltraViolet Index in order to quantify SUR radiation integratively.


Lamy, K., Portafaix, T., Brogniez, C., Godin-Beekman, S., Bencherif, H., Morel, B., Pazmino, A., Metzger, J., Auriol, F., Deroo, C. and Duflot, V., 2017. Ultraviolet Radiation modelling from ground based and satellite measurements at Reunion Island, Southern Tropics. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, pp.Under-Review.

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