Ultraviolet Radiation Levels During the Antarctic Spring

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Science  22 Jul 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4864, pp. 438-440
DOI: 10.1126/science.241.4864.438


The decrease in atmospheric ozone over Antarctica during spring implies enhanced levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation received at the earth's surface. Model calculations show that UV irradiances encountered during the occurrence of an Antarctic "ozone hole" remain less than those typical of a summer solstice at low to middle latitudes. However, the low ozone amounts observed in October 1987 imply biologically effective irradiances for McMurdo Station, Antarctica, that are comparable to or greater than those for the same location at December solstice. Life indigenous to Antarctica thereby experiences a greatly extended period of summerlike UV radiation levels.