EGU24-2543, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Comparative Analysis of Ground-Based and Satellite-Derived UV Index: Variability and Reliability from Three South American Mid-Latitudes Sites

Gabriela Reis1,2, Hassan Bencherif1, Marco Reis3, Bibiana Lopes3, Marcelo de Paula Corrêa4, Damaris Kirsch Pinheiro5, Lucas Vaz Peres6, Rodrigo da Silva6, and Thierry Portafaix1
Gabriela Reis et al.
  • 1LACy, Laboratory of Atmosphere and Cyclones, UMR 8105 CNRS, University of Reunion, Saint-Denis de la Réunion, France (;;
  • 2Postgraduate Program in Society, Nature and Development, Federal University of Western Pará, Brazil (
  • 3Postgraduate Program in Meteorology, Federal University of Santa Maria, Brazil (;
  • 4Institute of Natural Resources, Federal University of Itajubá, Brazil (
  • 5Chemical Engineering Department, Federal University of Santa Maria, Brazil (
  • 6Institute of Engineering and Geosciences, Federal University of Western Pará, Brazil (;

Solar Ultraviolet Radiation (UV) corresponds to electromagnetic waves with wavelengths of 100-400 nm, constituting approximately 5% of the energy emitted by the sun. The risks and benefits of exposure to UV for life on Earth have been known for many years and include impacts on human health, materials, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and biogeochemical cycles. Climate change, influenced by land use change and other factors, can increase or decrease the intensity of the incident UV depending on location, seasons, and changes in the atmospheric composition. UV intensity reaching the surface can be informed as the UV index. This dimensionless indicator often makes it easier for people to assess their UV levels and understand how to protect themselves from excessive sun exposure. In middle-income countries like Brazil and Argentina, networks, and instruments for monitoring UV are often sparse and poorly supported with both capacity and funding, and thus, obtaining reliable UV data is difficult. With only a few stations reporting long-term UV measurements, which significantly restricts its extrapolations to all populated areas, a way to continuous monitoring UV globally is through satellites. Similar to ground-based observations, satellite measurements are affected by instrument errors and are subject to uncertainties in the algorithms used to derive surface UV radiation. Therefore, evaluation of satellite-based estimates of surface UV against available ground measurements at many locations around the world is needed to characterize the errors toward further refinement of the surface UV estimates, especially in the Southern Hemisphere, where there has been relatively limited work to compare ground-based and satellite-derived UV. This study compares ground-based and satellite-derived UV Index levels from OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) at overpass time during clear sky conditions, which are determined using LER (Lambertian Equivalent Reflectivity). A characterization of the diurnal and seasonal variability of the ground-based UV index levels will also be reported. The study period will be from 2005 to 2022, varying according to each data source, and comprises data from two Brazilian cities – Itajubá (22.41ºS, 45.44ºW, 885 m, Davis 6490 UV sensor), Santa Maria (29.4°S, 53.8°W, 476 m, Brewer Spectrophotometer MKIII #167), and from Buenos Aires in Argentina (34.58º S, 58.48°W, 25 m, Solar Light UV Biometer – Radiometer model 501). Comparing satellite-derived data with ground-based measurements helps validate the accuracy of satellite data, which can help identify any discrepancies and improve the satellite data retrieval algorithms, leading to more accurate satellite-derived UV products. Also, such a process of data verification is necessary should these data be used for long-term trend analysis or the monitoring of UV exposure risk and possible impacts on human health, as we intend to do in a future study, to understand better the dynamics of the space-temporal variability of the surface UV in South America. 

How to cite: Reis, G., Bencherif, H., Reis, M., Lopes, B., de Paula Corrêa, M., Kirsch Pinheiro, D., Vaz Peres, L., da Silva, R., and Portafaix, T.: Comparative Analysis of Ground-Based and Satellite-Derived UV Index: Variability and Reliability from Three South American Mid-Latitudes Sites, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-2543,, 2024.