Evaluation of the desert dust effects on global, direct and diffuse spectral ultraviolet irradiance
Tellus: Series B, Chemical and Physical Meteorology
A B S T R A C T This paper presents a study of a strong desert dust episode over the Iberian Peninsula, and its effect on the spectral ultraviolet (UV) irradiance in Granada, Spain. Remote sensing measurements, forecast models, and synoptic analysis are used to identify a Saharan desert dust outbreak that affected the Iberian Peninsula starting 20 July 2009. Additionally, a Bentham DMc150 spectroradiometer is employed to obtain global, direct and diffuse spectral UV irradiances every 15 minutes
... es every 15 minutes in Granada. The desert dust caused a large attenuation of the direct UV irradiance (up to 55%), while the diffuse UV irradiance increased up to 40% at 400 nm. The UVSPEC/LibRadtran radiative transfer model is used to study the spectral dependence of the experimental UV irradiance ratios (ratios of spectral irradiance for the day with the highest aerosol load to that measured in days with lowÁmoderate load). The spectral increase or decrease of the UV direct irradiance ratios depends on a new parameter: a threshold wavelength. The spectral dependence of the UV diffuse irradiance ratio can be explained because under the influence of the intense dust outbreak, the Mie scattering by aerosols at shorter wavelengths is stronger than the Rayleigh scattering by gases. Finally, the sensitivity analysis of the aerosol absorption properties shows a substantial attenuation of UV spectral irradiance with a weak spectral dependence.