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Low Ozone Over Southern Australia in August 2011 and its Impact on Solar Ultraviolet Radiation Levels


Gies, P and Klekociuk, A and Tully, M and Henderson, S and Javorniczky, J and King, K and Lemus-Deschamps, L and Makin, J, Low Ozone Over Southern Australia in August 2011 and its Impact on Solar Ultraviolet Radiation Levels, Photochemistry and Photobiology, 89, (4) pp. 984-994. ISSN 0031-8655 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2013 The American Society of Photobiology and Commonwealth of Australia

DOI: doi:10.1111/php.12076


During August 2011 stratospheric ozone over much of Southern Australia dropped to very low levels (approximately 265 Dobson Units) for over a week above major population centers. The weather during this low ozone period was mostly clear and sunny, resulting in measured solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) levels up to 40% higher than normal, with UV Index > 3 despite being winter. Satellite ozone measurements and meteorological assimilated data indicate that the event was likely due in large part to the anomalous southward movement over Australia of ozone-poor air in the lower stratosphere originating from tropical latitudes. At the time, a study measuring the UVR exposures of outdoor workers in Victoria was underway and a number of the workers recorded substantial UVR exposures and were sunburnt. Given the cities and populations involved (approximately 10 million people), it is likely that many people could have been exposed to anomalously high levels of solar UVR for that time of year, with resultant higher UVR exposures and sunburns to unacclimatized skin (often a problem transitioning from low winter to higher spring UVR levels). Reporting procedures have been modified to utilize ozone forecasts to warn the public of anomalously high UVR levels in the future.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Sunburn, sun protection
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Climate change science
Research Field:Climatology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Makin, J (Ms Jen Makin)
ID Code:103573
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2015-10-16
Last Modified:2017-10-30

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