Using a Parameterization of a Radiative Transfer Model to Build High-Resolution Maps of Typical Clear-Sky UV Index in Catalonia, Spain

To perform a climatic analysis of the annual UV index (UVI) variations in Catalonia, Spain (northeast of the Iberian Peninsula), a new simple parameterization scheme is presented based on a multilayer radiative transfer model. The parameterization performs fast UVI calculations for a wide range of cloudless and snow-free situations and can be applied anywhere. The following parameters are considered: solar zenith angle, total ozone column, altitude, aerosol optical depth, and single-scattering albedo. A sensitivity analysis is presented to justify this choice with special attention to aerosol information. Comparisons with the base model show good agreement, most of all for the most common cases, giving an absolute error within 0.2 in the UVI for a wide range of cases considered. Two tests are done to show the performance of the parameterization against UVI measurements. One uses data from a high-quality spectroradiometer from Lauder, New Zealand [45.04°S, 169.684°E, 370 m above mean sea level (MSL)], where there is a low presence of aerosols. The other uses data from a Robertson–Berger-type meter from Girona, Spain (41.97°N, 2.82°E, 100 m MSL), where there is more aerosol load and where it has been possible to study the effect of aerosol information on the model versus measurement comparison. The parameterization is applied to a climatic analysis of the annual UVI variation in Catalonia, showing the contributions of solar zenith angle, ozone, and aerosols. High-resolution seasonal maps of typical UV index values in Catalonia are presented ​
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