19 Apr 2022
19 Apr 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Ozone and DNA active UV radiation changes for the near global mean and at high latitudes due to enhanced greenhouse gas concentrations

Kostas Eleftheratos1,2, John Kapsomenakis3, Ilias Fountoulakis4,5, Christos S. Zerefos2,3,6, Patrick Jöckel7, Martin Dameris7, Alkiviadis F. Bais8, Germar Bernhard9, Dimitra Kouklaki1, Kleareti Tourpali8, Scott Stierle10, J. Ben Liley11, Colette Brogniez12, Frédérique Auriol12, Henri Diémoz5, Stana Simic13, and Irina Petropavlovskikh14 Kostas Eleftheratos et al.
  • 1Department of Geology and Geoenvironment, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
  • 2Center for Environmental Effects on Health, Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, Athens, Greece
  • 3Research Centre for Atmospheric Physics and Climatology, Academy of Athens, Athens, Greece
  • 4nstitute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing, National Observatory of Athens (IAASARS/NOA), Athens, Greece
  • 5Aosta Valley Regional Environmental Protection Agency (ARPA), Saint-Christophe, Italy
  • 6Navarino Environmental Observatory (N.E.O), Messenia, Greece
  • 7Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 8Department of Physics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 9Biospherical Instruments Inc., San Diego, CA 92110, USA
  • 10NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratory, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
  • 11National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Lauder, New Zealand
  • 12Univ. Lille, CNRS, UMR 8518 - Laboratoire d’Optique Atmosphérique, F-59000 Lille, France
  • 13Institute for Meteorology and Climatology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna 1180, Austria
  • 14Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA

Abstract. This study analyses the variability and trends of ultraviolet-B (UV-B, wavelength 280–320 nm) radiation that can cause DNA damage, which are caused by climate change due to enhanced greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations. The analysis is based on DNA active irradiance, total ozone, total cloud cover, and surface albedo calculations with the EMAC Chemistry-Climate Model (CCM) free running simulations following the RCP-6.0 climate scenario for the period 1960–2100. The model output is evaluated with DNA active irradiance ground-based measurements, satellite SBUV (v8.7) total ozone measurements and satellite MODIS/Terra cloud cover data. The results show that the model reproduces the observed variability and change of total ozone, DNA active irradiance, and cloud cover for the period 2000–2018 quite well. Between 50° N–50° S, the DNA-damaging UV radiation is expected to decrease until 2050 and to increase thereafter, as it was shown previously by Eleftheratos et al. (2020). This change is associated with decreases in the model total cloud cover and insignificant trends in total ozone after about 2050. The new study confirms the previous work by adding more stations over low and mid-latitudes (13 instead of 5 stations). In addition, we include estimates from high latitude stations with long-term measurements of UV irradiance (2 stations in the northern high latitudes and 4 stations in the southern high latitudes greater than 55°). In contrast to the predictions for 50° N–50° S, it is shown that DNA active irradiance will continue to decrease after the year 2050 over high latitudes because of upward ozone trends. At latitudes poleward of 55° N, we estimate that DNA active irradiance will decrease by 10.6 ± 3.7 % from 2050 to 2100. Similarly, at latitudes poleward of 55° S, DNA active irradiance will decrease by 4.8 ± 2.9 % after 2050. The results for the high latitudes refer to the summer period and not to the seasons when ozone depletion occurs, i.e., in late winter and spring. The contributions of ozone, cloud and albedo trends on the DNA active irradiance trends are estimated and discussed.

Kostas Eleftheratos et al.

Status: open (until 31 May 2022)

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Kostas Eleftheratos et al.

Kostas Eleftheratos et al.


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Short summary
Our study discusses the future evolution of the DNA-damaging UV-B radiation in view of climate change and the reduction of ozone depleting substances. It is presented that the DNA harmful UV-B radiation might increase after 2050 between 50° N–50° S mainly due to cloud changes associated with climate change, something that is likely not to happen at high latitudes, where the DNA active irradiance is projected to continue its downward trend after 2050 mainly due to the continued increase of ozone.