Quality of Total Ozone Measured by the Focused Sun Method Using a Brewer Spectrophotometer

Weine Josefsson Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, Sweden

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Abstract

Strong ozone depletions and large natural variations in total ozone have been observed at high latitudes. Accurate measurements of total ozone are important so as not to misinterpret the involved processes and to track correctly the variations. The primary basis for ground-based monitoring of total ozone is the network of Dobson and Brewer ozone spectrophotometers. However, these instruments have limitations. At high latitudes, the fundamental direct sun observation used by these instruments is not possible during large parts of the year. In particular, the low sun and the resulting weak signals present a challenge. The focused sun observation method can extend the possible range of measurements using the Brewer instrument. Here, this method is discussed from the point of accuracy. Direct (synchronized) validation against the fundamental direct sun method is not possible with the current instrument configuration. Alternative methods to overcome the obstacle of nonsynchronous observations are applied. An estimate of the uncertainty of the validation is provided. The results show that the focused sun method gives data that are in line with the estimated uncertainty of the validation. No major additional uncertainty is needed to explain the observed scatter. The main conclusion is that the focused sun observation method can have an uncertainty close to the fundamental direct sun method and thus can be used to extend the possible range of observation for the Brewer ozone spectrophotometer.

Corresponding author address: Weine Josefsson, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, SE-601 76 Norrköping, Sweden. weine.josefsson@smhi.se

Abstract

Strong ozone depletions and large natural variations in total ozone have been observed at high latitudes. Accurate measurements of total ozone are important so as not to misinterpret the involved processes and to track correctly the variations. The primary basis for ground-based monitoring of total ozone is the network of Dobson and Brewer ozone spectrophotometers. However, these instruments have limitations. At high latitudes, the fundamental direct sun observation used by these instruments is not possible during large parts of the year. In particular, the low sun and the resulting weak signals present a challenge. The focused sun observation method can extend the possible range of measurements using the Brewer instrument. Here, this method is discussed from the point of accuracy. Direct (synchronized) validation against the fundamental direct sun method is not possible with the current instrument configuration. Alternative methods to overcome the obstacle of nonsynchronous observations are applied. An estimate of the uncertainty of the validation is provided. The results show that the focused sun method gives data that are in line with the estimated uncertainty of the validation. No major additional uncertainty is needed to explain the observed scatter. The main conclusion is that the focused sun observation method can have an uncertainty close to the fundamental direct sun method and thus can be used to extend the possible range of observation for the Brewer ozone spectrophotometer.

Corresponding author address: Weine Josefsson, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, SE-601 76 Norrköping, Sweden. weine.josefsson@smhi.se

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