Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry

, Volume 67, Issue 2–3, pp 141–155 | Cite as

The characteristics of ultraviolet radiation in arid and semi-arid regions of China

  • Bo Hu
  • Yue Si Wang
  • Guang Ren Liu


Measurements of the broadband global solar radiation (R S) and total ultraviolet radiation (the sum of UV-A and UV-B) were conducted from 2005 to 2010 at 9 sites in arid and semi-arid regions of China. These data were used to determine the temporal variability of UV and UV/R S and their dependence on the water vapor content and clearness index. The dependence of UV/R S on aerosol optical depth (AOD) and water vapor content was also investigated. In addition, a simple and efficient empirically model suited for all-weather conditions was developed to estimate UV from R s. The annual average daily UV level in arid and semi-arid areas is 0.61 and 0.59 MJ m−2 d−1, respectively. The highest value (0.66 ± 0.25 MJ m−2 d−1) was recorded at an arid area at Linze. The lowest value (0.53 ± 0.22 MJ m−2 d−1) was recorded at a semi-arid area at Ansai. The highest daily value of UV radiation was measured in May, whereas the lowest value was measured in December. The monthly variation of the UV/R s ratio ranged from 0.41 in Aksu to 0.35 in Qira. The monthly mean value of UV/R s gradually increased from November and then decreased in August. A small decreasing trend of UV/R s was observed in the arid and semi-arid regions due to recently increasing amounts of fine aerosol. A simple and efficient empirically model suit for all-weather condition was developed to estimate UV from R s. The slope a and intercept b of the regression line between the estimated and measured values were close to 1 and zero, respectively. The relative error between the estimated and measured values was less than 11.5%. Application of the model to data collected from different locations in this region also resulted in reasonable estimates of UV.


Ultraviolet radiation Clearness index Aerosol Water vapor Arid and semi-arid 



This work was financially supported by the Research Program for excellent Ph.D. dissertations in the Chinese Academy of Science. The authors would like to thank the CERN observation team for their maintenance work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry (LAPC), Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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