Articles | Volume 3, issue 4
12 Aug 2010
 | 12 Aug 2010

The effect of the global UV irradiance measurement accuracy on the single scattering albedo retrieval

S. Kazadzis, J. Gröbner, A. Arola, and V. Amiridis

Abstract. The possibility of measuring aerosol optical absorption properties in the UV spectral range such as single scattering albedo (SSA), using remote sensing techniques, is currently an open scientific issue. We investigate the limitations on calculating column average SSA using a combination of global UV spectral measurements (that are comon in various UV monitoring stations worldwide) with radiative transfer modeling. To point out the difficulties in such a retrieval we have used the travelling reference spectroradiometer QASUME (Quality Assurance of Spectral Ultraviolet Measurements in Europe) results from 27 visits to UV monitoring stations around Europe. We have used the QASUME instrument as relative reference, analyzing absolute differences and also temporal and spectral deviations of UV irraidances, that are used as basic input for the SSA retrieval.

The results comparing the mean SSA derived by all instruments, measuring synchronous UV spectra, showed that 5 were within ± 0.02 difference from the SSA calculated from the QASUME instrument, while 17 were within ± 0.04, for the Solar zenith angle of 60 degrees. As for the uncertainty that has been calculated using the 2σ standard deviation of the spectral measurements, a mean 0.072 and 0.10 (2σ) uncertainties have been calculated for 60° and 30°, respectively. Based on the fact that additional uncertainties would be introduced in the SSA retrieval from AOD model input accuracy, assymetry parameter assumptions, we show that only very few instrumnents could be able to detect long term SSA changes. However, such measurements/results ar useful in order to retrieve SSA at UV wavelengths, a product needed for various applications such as, inputs for modeling radiative forcing studies and satellite retrieval algorithms.