Disclaimer: This material is being kept online for historical purposes. Though accurate at the time of publication, it is no longer being updated. The page may contain broken links or outdated information, and parts may not function in current web browsers. Visit https://espo.nasa.gov for information about our current projects.


Compilation and spatio-temporal analysis of publicly available total solar and...

Zhou, Y., X. Meng, J. H. Belle, H. Zhang, C. Kennedy, M. Z. Al-Hamdan, J. Wang, and Y. Liu (2019), Compilation and spatio-temporal analysis of publicly available total solar and UV irradiance data in the contiguous United States*, Environmental Pollution, 253, 130-140, doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2019.06.074.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, the majority of which is caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) irradiance, which is one component of sunlight. National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program at CDC has collaborated with partners to develop and disseminate county-level daily UV irradiance (2005e2015) and total solar irradiance (1991e2012) data for the contiguous United States. UV irradiance dataset was derived from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), and solar irradiance was extracted from National Solar Radiation Data Base (NSRDB) and SolarAnywhere data. Firstly, we produced daily population-weighted UV and solar irradiance datasets at the county level. Then the spatial distributions and long-term trends of UV irradiance, solar irradiance and the ratio of UV irradiance to solar irradiance were analyzed. The national average values across all years are 4300 Wh/m2, 2700 J/m2 and 130 mW/m2 for global horizontal irradiance (GHI), erythemally weighted daily dose of UV irradiance (EDD) and erythemally weighted UV irradiance at local solar noon time (EDR), respectively. Solar, UV irradiances and the ratio of UV to solar irradiance all increased toward the South and in some areas with high altitude, suggesting that using solar irradiance as indicator of UV irradiance in studies covering large geographic regions may bias the true pattern of UV exposure. National annual average daily solar and UV irradiances increased significantly over the years by about 0.3% and 0.5% per year, respectively. Both datasets are available to the public through CDC's Tracking network. The UV irradiance dataset is currently the only publicly-available, spatially-resolved, and long-term UV irradiance dataset covering the contiguous United States. These datasets help us understand the spatial distributions and temporal trends of solar and UV irradiances, and allow for improved characterization of UV and sunlight exposure in future studies.

PDF of Publication: 
Download from publisher's website.
Research Program: 
Applied Sciences Program (ASP)