Author(s): Barnard WF, Saxena VK, Wenny BN, DeLuisi JJ
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Abstract For the past 30 years, the stratospheric ozone layer has decreased in the Northern Hemisphere. The main effect of this ozone decrease was an expected increase in the UV radiation at the Earth's surface, but there has been no clear evidence of an increasing urban trend in surface UV. This study shows that specific air pollutants can reduce the increased surface levels of UV radiation and offers an explanation for why the expected surface UV increases have not been observed, especially in urban regions. A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) UV monitoring site at the University of California at Riverside combined with air pollution data from a site operated by the California Air Resources Board in Rubidoux, CA, provided the basis of this study. The 1997 South Coast Ozone Study (SCOS-97) provided three key ingredients: black carbon, PM10 concentrations, and collocated radiometric measurements. The Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) satellite data were used to provide the stratospheric ozone levels that were included in the statistical model. All of these input parameters would be used to test this study's hypothesis: the expected increase of surface UV radiation, caused by decreases in stratospheric ozone, can be masked by increases in anthropogenic emissions. The values for the pollutants were 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. averages of the instrument's values taken during summer 1997. A statistical linear regression model was employed using the stratospheric ozone, black carbon, PM10, and surface ozone concentrations, and the sin (theta) and cos (theta). The angle theta is defined by theta = 2pi (Julian date/365). This model obtained a coefficient of determination of 0.94 with an uncertainty level (p value) of less than 0.3\% for all of the variables in the model except ground-level ozone. The final model, regressed against a data set from a remote, western North Carolina site, resulted in a coefficient of determination of 0.92. The model shows that black carbon can reduce the Diffey-weighted UV levels that reach the surface by as much as 35\%, depending on the season.
This article was published in J Air Waste Manag Assoc
and referenced in Journal of Geology & Geophysics