Ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B, 280–320 nm) has important effects in urban areas, including those on human health. Broadband UV-B radiation is monitored in Baltimore, MD, as part of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, a long-term ecological research program. We compare broadband UV-B irradiance in Baltimore with UV-B at two nearby locations: a more rural station 64 km southeast and a suburban station 42 km southwest. The monitoring station in Baltimore is on the roof of a 33-m-tall building; there are no significant obstructions to sky view. The U.S. Department of Agriculture UV-B Monitoring and Research Program provided all sensors, which were calibrated at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Central UV Calibration Facility. UV-B irradiances at the three sites generally were similar. Over all conditions, Baltimore and the suburban site measured 3.4% less irradiance than the rural site. This difference is within the anticipated ±3% calibration uncertainty of the pyranometers. On 59 days with cloud-free conditions at all three sites, average differences in measured UV-B among the three sites were even smaller; Baltimore measured 1.2% less irradiance than the rural site. High aerosol optical thickness strongly reduced daily UV-B dose, whereas [SO2] had no influence. Surface O3 increased with increasing UV-B dose when [NO2] exceeded 10 ppb.
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Vol. 80 • No. 3