Indexed on: 12 Jul '13Published on: 12 Jul '13Published in: Radiation protection dosimetry
Action spectrum (AS) describes the relative effectiveness of ultraviolet (UV) radiation in producing biological effects and allows spectral UV irradiance to be weighted in order to compute biologically effective UV radiation (UVBE). The aim of this research was to study the seasonal and latitudinal distribution over Europe of daily UVBE doses responsible for various biological effects on humans and plants. Clear sky UV radiation spectra were computed at 30-min time intervals for the first day of each month of the year for Rome, Potsdam and Trondheim using a radiative transfer model fed with climatological data. Spectral data were weighted using AS for erythema, vitamin D synthesis, cataract and photokeratitis for humans, while the generalised plant damage and the plant damage AS were used for plants. The daily UVBE doses for the above-mentioned biological processes were computed and are analysed in this study. The patterns of variation due to season (for each location) and latitude (for each date) resulted as being specific for each adopted AS. The biological implications of these results are briefly discussed highlighting the importance of a specific UVBE climatology for each biological process.