Record levels of solar ultraviolet measured in South America

From Frontiers

A team of researchers in the U.S. and Germany has measured the highest level of ultraviolet radiation ever recorded on the Earth’s surface. The extraordinary UV fluxes, observed in the Bolivian Andes only 1,500 miles from the equator, are far above those normally considered to be harmful to both terrestrial and aquatic life. The results are being published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Environmental Science.

“These record-setting levels were not measured in Antarctica, where ozone holes have been a recurring problem for decades,” says team leader Nathalie A. Cabrol of the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center. “This is in the tropics, in an area where there are small towns and villages.” 

The measurements were made in the southern hemisphere summer of 2003 and 2004, using instruments developed for the European Light Dosimeter Network (Eldonet). They were undertaken as Cabrol’s team was investigating high altitude Andean lakes as part of an astrobiology study of Mars-like environments. Dosimeters were deployed on the summit of the towering Licancabur volcano (altitude: 5,917 meters) and at nearby Laguna Blanca (altitude 4,340 meters). The combination of a midday sun near the zenith, as well as the high elevation of these sites, produces higher irradiance levels because of naturally low ozone in such locations. But these intensities of short-wavelength UV-B radiation (280 – 315 nm) are unprecedented.

“A UV index of 11 is considered extreme, and has reached up to 26 in nearby locations in recent years,” notes Cabrol. “But on December 29, 2003, we measured an index of 43. If you’re at a beach in the U.S., you might experience an index of 8 or 9 during the summer, intense enough to warrant protection. You simply do not want to be outside when the index reaches 30 or 40.”

The intense radiation coincided with other circumstances that may have increased the UV flux, including ozone depletion by increased aerosols from both seasonal storms and fires in the area. In addition, a large solar flare occurred just two weeks before the highest UV fluxes were registered. Ultraviolet spikes continued to occur – albeit at lower intensity – throughout the period of solar instability, and stopped thereafter. While the evidence linking the solar event to the record-breaking radiation is only circumstantial, particles from such flares are known to affect atmospheric chemistry and may have increased ozone depletion.

“While these events are not directly tied to climate change, they are sentinels of what could occur if ozone thins globally,” Cabrol says. “The thinner and more unstable the ozone, the more prone we will be to this kind of event.”

High UV-B exposure negatively affects the entire biosphere, not just humans. It damages DNA, affects photosynthesis, and decreases the viability of eggs and larvae. For these reasons, it is important to keep a close watch on UV flux levels.

“While this unsettling record might be the result of a ‘perfect storm’ of events, it could happen again,” says Cabrol, “because the factors that caused it are not rare. What we need is more monitoring of the ozone changes in these areas. These fluxes, which are comparable to those of early Mars, are occurring in a populated area.”

David Black, president and CEO of the SETI Institute, notes that “this is an excellent example of how astrobiology – which includes understanding the atmospheres of other planets – is germane to contemporary concerns here on Earth.”

###

Note to editors

Article title: Record Solar UV Irradiance in the Tropical Andes

DOI: 10.3389/fenvs.2014.00019

Journal: Frontiers in Environmental Science

For a copy of the embargoed paper, please contact Gozde Zorlu: press@frontiersin.org

For online articles, please link to the paper which will become freely available at the following: http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fenvs.2014.00019/abstract

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milodonharlani
July 8, 2014 6:10 pm

What, they don’t blame CO2?
Will wonders never cease.

Jenn Oates
July 8, 2014 6:17 pm

And there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it.

Rhoda R
July 8, 2014 6:19 pm

“While these events are not directly tied to climate change, they are sentinels of what could occur if ozone thins globally,” Cabrol says.
Sorry Milodon, they had to drag global warming/climate change into it.

george e. smith
July 8, 2014 6:20 pm

So has the UV been measured every day in this place since 1850 ??
I assume this is not just the very first time that anyone went to this spot, and measured UV.
So how come these villagers haven’t been toasted ??
Maybe Obama, can bring these villagers into the US as “Climate Refugees.”

DontGetOutMuch
July 8, 2014 6:25 pm

I think a UV tax, and increased regulation by the EPA will be required to address this threat. /sarc

Adam from Kansas
July 8, 2014 6:31 pm

Wouldn’t it be that the measurements were taken at the peak of Solar Cycle 23, during the most intense solar activity in hundreds of years?
Does the UV output also follow the sunspot numbers or do we also see different factors at work, also, what about their potential effects on weather patterns (since I recall reading before that UV light fluctuates a lot more than the output in the visible spectrum)?

Editor
July 8, 2014 6:33 pm

The reported numbers occured TEN YEARS AGO — 2003/04

“The measurements were made in the southern hemisphere summer of 2003 and 2004…”

I’ll have to check the paper to see why this is “news” today.

milodonharlani
July 8, 2014 6:36 pm

Rhoda R says:
July 8, 2014 at 6:19 pm
Of course they had to genuflect in that direction by mentioning the magic words “climate change”, but is there an alleged connection between CO2 & ozone, as there in fact is for UV & ozone?
Wouldn’t surprise me if it has been suggested.

H.R.
July 8, 2014 6:43 pm

So… we’re all gonna die?
.
.
.
Nice catch on the date, Kip Hansen.
.
.
.
So… we’re all gonna die, but it may take a while.

TimO
July 8, 2014 6:46 pm

If it took them 10 years to bring this up, it must be a lot less of a problem than they make of it, unless there are mass graves somewhere.

milodonharlani
July 8, 2014 6:47 pm

Kip Hansen says:
July 8, 2014 at 6:33 pm
The date’s important, since we’ve been in a cooling trend since about then, in unadjusted data.

milodonharlani
July 8, 2014 6:48 pm

TimO says:
July 8, 2014 at 6:46 pm
Andean people long ago evolved biologically & culturally to deal with high UV flux.

Bob Diaz
July 8, 2014 6:51 pm

Given time, I’m sure some group will blame this on increased CO2!

Richard Day
July 8, 2014 6:56 pm

Germany demolished Brazil 7-1 today in the World Cup. While this event is not directly tied to climate change, it is a sentinel of what could happen to the rain forest if….oh forget it.

John F. Hultquist
July 8, 2014 7:02 pm

I’m curious about the biosphere, photosynthesis, viability of eggs and larvae, and the people in the nearby villages –
A UV index of 11 is considered extreme, and has reached up to 26 in nearby locations in recent years,” notes Cabrol.
Then “because the factors that caused it are not rare. ” . . . Help is needed.
Somewhat like a tsunami hazard zone sign . . .
http://captureslife.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/m_tsunami_sign.jpg
Funding should be sought for a network of sirens to warn people of such events – if any people as we know them still exist in the area.

July 8, 2014 7:08 pm

It’s another man made climate situation:
if those guys hadn’t gone there with those instruments, this never would have happened.
/grin

July 8, 2014 7:15 pm

Why isn’t everything already dead?

mark
July 8, 2014 7:19 pm

And nary a mention of CFCs! And this is where CO2 will end up as well. Outlawed, taxed, and vilified but never proven to be anything other than an important gas.

boondoggle9945
July 8, 2014 7:26 pm

Or it could be the magnetic field is getting weaker and letting more bad rays in, as measured by SWARM. It shows South America had a big reduction. Of course that has nothing to do with humans and human caused climate change.

SIGINT EX
July 8, 2014 7:26 pm

Calibration/Validation ?

milodonharlani
July 8, 2014 7:36 pm

Richard Day says:
July 8, 2014 at 6:56 pm
If the Netherlands also beats Argentina, then this will be definite further proof that climate change has killed off the redheads & replaced them with blonde Uebermenschen while debilitating the swarthier players of Southern European extraction (Portugal & Italy). Although a German star is half Tunisian.
Funny how CACA has finally returned to its roots in Eugenics.

Skeptic Tank
July 8, 2014 7:39 pm

I don’t see the value of this information (to most of us) unless it can be promulgated in real time and people can take precautions. Otherwise, it’s purely academic.

Tom in Florida
July 8, 2014 7:42 pm

“High UV-B exposure negatively affects the entire biosphere, not just humans. It damages DNA, affects photosynthesis, and decreases the viability of eggs and larvae.”
Perhaps these events are the cause for evolution of certain species through mutation of DNA. Perhaps this is a good thing. Perhaps it is why we are here in the manner we are.

noaaprogrammer
July 8, 2014 7:52 pm

Does someone have an exposure chart for UV exposure (similar to the various nuclear radiations) that would give the biological effects for various intensities and durations?
I know I sunburn after 2 hours in the midday sun at the beginning of every summer at 1000 ft. elevation, but after that the melanin kicks in, and if I keep my fluids up, I can be out all day without any immediate adverse effects. Of course I will probably die of cancer when the melanoma kicks in.

milodonharlani
July 8, 2014 7:54 pm

Tom in Florida says:
July 8, 2014 at 7:42 pm
Having already connected CACA with pseudo-scientific “Aryan” Eugenics, there’s this:
http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2014/06/115741/human-evolution-changes-skin%E2%80%99s-barrier-set-northern-europeans-apart
No wonder the SS crew revel in dressing up like SS torturers. I’m sure they’d actually like to torture real skeptics instead of just climatic study abstracts.

DS
July 8, 2014 7:54 pm

Ok, seriously, WTF?
I mean, we all just read an article which really should have been saying “everyone, it is EXTREMELY important you know it is not safe to go outside in this area… well, 10 years ago at least”
I cant help but think of Chris Elliot being put on iceberg lookout duty… “okay, you hit one”

milodonharlani
July 8, 2014 7:59 pm

noaaprogrammer says:
July 8, 2014 at 7:52 pm
Awaiting the results of my skin cancer biopsy:
http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/uva-and-uvb/understanding-uva-and-uvb
Maybe too many parameters in humans, but biological effects of UV-a & b have been studied in other organisms, as I commented upon for phytoplankton.

bionicuss
July 8, 2014 8:01 pm

I saw no mention of the effects of the rarified atmosphere of 19,526 feet and 14,322 feet for the two peaks. I learned during my backpacking days that at 10,000 feet you were above 1/2 of the atmosphere. Wouldn’t that account for the high levels of UV? As I understand the shape of mountains, ‘nearby’ might be 10,000 ft. lower in altitude.

July 8, 2014 8:16 pm

“While these events are not directly tied to climate change…”
The stunt: single out an event and use it in conjunction with the (meaningless) term climate change, even while denying a link. The result: effective subliminal advertising.
Oh, and while Brazil’s shocking defeat and Australia’s unexpected snowfalls and Ukrainian unrest are not directly linked to climate change…

ROM
July 8, 2014 8:19 pm

Give them credit, quite lots of credit
They actually went there into some darn inhospitable country and way up into the mountains at the end of the world lugging their instruments up to those mountain tops to get those direct UV measurements first hand.
Thats doing science.
Completely unlike our Uni of NSW tax payer rip off “experts” on Antarctic ice melts [ previous thread on WUWT ] and an almost infinite number of like “expert “researchers, all sucking furiously on the public teat, who don’t appear to have ever left the Air conditioned premises and the coffee machines of university academia to actually get their hands dirty and do some genuine on ground field research.
This seems to be the defining characteristic of every self labelled “expert climate scientist” we have ever come across.
Their quite noted characteristic of doing all their research into the climate of the furtherest flung and most isolated parts of the planet without ever getting more than a few metres from their university academia’s’ “hallowed halls”, it’s coffee machines and a bank of computers loaded with highly suspect climate models that have never been verified. validated or quality controlled and have never produced a climate prediction that has actually come to pass.
At least these researchers went and did the hard yards of measuring UV and the outcome is that suddenly what has been known for decades became seriously unknown and they suddenly realised that they were far more ignorant about solar UV, just how strong it can be at near ground level and just when and where it might show up and for how long.
Their’s and no doubt other researchers surprise is expressed here but they still could not refrain from tossing in the “we’ll all be rooned” and it will be mankind’s fault all over again.
When will these scientific yobbo’s realise that they should just report the science as it is and as they measured it then shut their over size yap traps right up and thereby try and retain a modicum of respect for their science.

milodonharlani
July 8, 2014 8:24 pm

bionicuss says:
July 8, 2014 at 8:01 pm
Funny handle.

Andrew N
July 8, 2014 8:27 pm

The meaning of ‘unprecedented’
Climate Science – First time we have measured something
24hour News Service – We googled the last 7 days of news and couldn’t find anything like it
Teenager – This has, like, nevah happened to anyone else (usually love related)
The Real World – In recorded history this is the first time it has happened

Editor
July 8, 2014 8:34 pm

The article says…
> Dosimeters were deployed on the summit of the towering Licancabur volcano
> (altitude: 5,917 meters) and at nearby Laguna Blanca (altitude 4,340 meters).
Well, like, dohhhh. The higher you go, the less atmosphere there is above you to stop UV, X-rays, gamma rays, cosmic rays, etc, etc. E.g. http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/AGU-NAIRAS.html
> While it may not be commonly known, airline flight crews are currently
> classified as “radiation workers,” a federal designation that means they
> are consistently exposed to radiation. Flight crews on high-latitude routes,
> in fact, are exposed to more radiation on an annual basis than nuclear
> plant workers.
Stick the search term…
pilots radiation exposure
…into Google, and you get “About 111,000 results (0.28 seconds)”. Increased exposure to all sorts of ionizing radiation is a consequence of living at higher elevations, just like increased lung problems are a consequence of living in Beijing’s polluted air.

ossqss
July 8, 2014 8:37 pm

Interesting that they mention that an X45 class flare is possibly involved in the paper?
A flare twice as large as anything ever recorded happened just prior to the time of these measurements?
It would be interesting to see the whole data set for this papers comparative references.
Flare reference.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/03/040316072425.htm
Question, does the conflict of interest disclaimer at the end of the paper cover the 40 referenced papers too?
Paper》
http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fenvs.2014.00019/full

Alan Robertson
July 8, 2014 8:42 pm

Oh, solar Ultraviolet, not Andy Warhol’s friend, Ultra Violet. Now I’m not the least bit interested in this article.
R.I.P. Isabelle Dufresne, 14 June, 2014

Mike Wryley
July 8, 2014 8:55 pm

Actually, 18,000 feet is about .5 bar

Santa Baby
July 8, 2014 8:59 pm

Cucumbernews?

July 8, 2014 9:14 pm

Brazil’s loss to Germany this morning wouldn’t by any chance be responsible,hmmm ??????? <:o)

JJ
July 8, 2014 9:31 pm

Richard Day says:
Germany demolished Brazil 7-1 today in the World Cup.

I’m sorry, but that is not correct.
Your problem is, you are using the raw score. When the proper pairwise homogenization algorithm is applied, comparison to similar soccer games played within a 1500 km radius flags the score 7-1 as a soccer score discontinuity. To correct this obvious error, the anomalous values are replaced with regional average scores. After adjustment, Brazil won 3-2.

Greg from L.A.
July 8, 2014 9:39 pm

From the research about record levels of recorded UV recorded in the Bolivian Andes…
“a large solar flare occurred just two weeks before the highest UV fluxes were registered. Ultraviolet spikes continued to occur – albeit at lower intensity – throughout the period of solar instability, and stopped thereafter.”
It appears that NASA has already provided much info from SDO regarding the relationship between solar flares and UV (and X-Rays).
For example:
“NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), launched in February 2010, made the finding: About 1 in 7 flares experience an “aftershock.” About ninety minutes after the flare dies down, it springs to life again, producing an extra surge of extreme ultraviolet radiation.
“We call it the ‘late phase flare,’” says Woods. “The energy in the late phase can exceed the energy of the primary flare by as much as a factor of four.”
From: The Secret Lives of Solar Flares:
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/19sep_secretlives/
Big flares produce big UV events that can be measured high up in the atmosphere. I think we already knew that from stratospheric balloon measurements even before SDO.
People living high up in the Andes have adapted well to their environment. They can assimilate oxygen into their red blood cells better than folks living at sea level. Their dark skin pigmentation protects them from both UVA and UVB better than folks living in low UV flux environments.
From what I just read, the light skinned Americans and Germans who conducted the UV testing had best get down off the mountain! “Skin cancers are mostly a consequence of modern human migrations and resulting mismatches between skin pigmentation and geography or lifestyle.”
From: Human skin pigmentation as an adaptation to UV radiation
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3024016/

July 8, 2014 9:51 pm

Doesn’t UV penetrate the ocean to a greater depth causing more warming.
I wonder what UV levels were in the 20s/30s/40s.
Kip: “I’ll have to check the paper to see why this is “news” today.”
Because (like Ocean Heat Content) the AGW cult is looking for proxies for which there is little or no data in the 30s.

hunter
July 8, 2014 10:04 pm

Hmmmm….I would like to see a really good calibration test.

Editor
July 8, 2014 10:55 pm

JJ says:
July 8, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Richard Day says:

Germany demolished Brazil 7-1 today in the World Cup.

I’m sorry, but that is not correct.
Your problem is, you are using the raw score. When the proper pairwise homogenization algorithm is applied, comparison to similar soccer games played within a 1500 km radius flags the score 7-1 as a soccer score discontinuity. To correct this obvious error, the anomalous values are replaced with regional average scores. After adjustment, Brazil won 3-2.

We have a winner!
Hilarious …
w.

Editor
July 8, 2014 11:25 pm

I don’t understand this claim:

Figure 2. UV-B/UV-A ratio daily maxima. (A) The highest values were consistently associated with increased cloud fraction; (B) ozone depletion, and NOAs


First off, the time scale for the ozone data only goes up to January 18th, while the UVB/UVA ratio has the same start date, but it goes all the way to November 4th.
Next, although they claim that “The highest values were consistently associated with increased cloud fraction”, they show no correlation or other data to back that up. I’m sorry, but simply squinting at a graph and making claims of correlation without doing the math doesn’t cut it.
Next, they don’t show the UVB levels for the period, only for a few single days … not sure what that is supposed to show.
Finally they do some plain and fancy tapdancing when they say:

Finally, although the evidence is circumstantial, an X45 class solar flare also took place on November 4, 2003, becoming the largest event ever recorded with instruments (Thomson et al., 2004). Heightened solar activity lasted over 5 months with additional events in the X10-17.2 class range between October 2003 and March 2004. Solar particle events have been shown to affect atmospheric chemistry (NOy and HOx) and foster ozone depletion (Woods et al., 2004). Our instruments were deployed 2 weeks after the X45 flares and showed the most extreme UV variability between the time of their deployment and the end of March 2004.

If they are claiming that reduced ozone caused by the solar flare has a part in the game, it seems incumbent on them to compare the ozone levels over the period and show that in fact this solar flare did actually affect ozone levels.
Does this invalidate the study? By no means … but it makes me suspicious. If the claimed relationships are there, why not show the math?
w.

ROM
July 8, 2014 11:30 pm

I second that Willis E.
I nearly fell off the chair laughing
With his grasp of the in fashion phraseology and the politically correct climate temperature adjustments verbiage, JJ could write a climate paper anytime and get it accepted by the journals without even bothering about any letters after his name.

Greg
July 9, 2014 12:18 am

Loss of stratospheric ozone is a likely cause of the drop in stratospheric air temperature seen after El Chichon and Mt Pinatubo.
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=902
This lead to about 2 W/m^2 extra SW entering the lower climate system.
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=955
That extra short wave energy will penetrate deep into the oceans and probably won’t be nullified by the strong negative feedbacks occurring at the surface which effectively negate any changes in incident LW radiation.

July 9, 2014 12:31 am

Here’s the take-home:
When you’re hiking in the tropical Andes, forget about the sunscreen. Barbecue sauce is more to the point.

TimTheToolMan
July 9, 2014 1:29 am

JJ writes “To correct this obvious error, the anomalous values are replaced with regional average scores. After adjustment, Brazil won 3-2.”
That might not be an accurate representation of the true score but statistically its a better score to be using. Dont you think Mosh?

Richard
July 9, 2014 1:29 am

Willis, JJ and Richard
Your 3:2 Brazil win was correct as at 10:55pm but as part of the realignment of the Index to account for some late reporting vuvuzelas – the score has now been updated is is much more realistically described as Brazil 3.012 Germany 1.994
Thank you

stephen richards
July 9, 2014 1:44 am

But these intensities of short-wavelength UV-B radiation (280 – 315 nm) are unprecedented.
How did they know? Have they measured in that same place in previous centuries?

TimTheToolMan
July 9, 2014 1:47 am

Willis writes “First off, the time scale for the ozone data only goes up to January 18th, while the UVB/UVA ratio has the same start date, but it goes all the way to November 4th.”
You can see a doted line in the “A” graph which is expanded in the “B” graph hence the difference in dates. The “B” graph is meant to be only a part of the “A” graph. Having said that, there are obvious problems with the scales…what date is “21/19” ?

Nylo
July 9, 2014 2:07 am

lol
Guys, you are asuming that Brazil defeated Germany 3-2, but you are forgetting that the homogeneization procedure used works with past and also future games played in the surrounding 1500km, Which means that, although today we think that yesterday Brazil won 3-2, it is entirely possible that tomorrow we will realise that Germany actually suffered a much more ominous defeat, with Brazil winning 5-0.

catweazle666
July 9, 2014 4:34 am

Hmmm…
Well, at least they didn’t derive their results from a computer game!

Ulric Lyons
July 9, 2014 5:08 am

This happened during the latter part of a north pole Sudden Stratospheric Warming:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/temperature/archive/02mb9065_2004.gif
which accompanies strong cooling in the tropical stratosphere, and you can see a brief temperature spike in there late Dec 2003:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/temperature/archive/02mb2525_2004.gif

MarkW
July 9, 2014 5:39 am

Obviously we need to ban CFCs.

MarkW
July 9, 2014 5:42 am

John F. Hultquist says:
July 8, 2014 at 7:02 pm
I’m curious about the biosphere, photosynthesis, viability of eggs and larvae, and the people in the nearby villages –
—–
That high up, there’s not a lot in the way of biology to begin with.

Leo Smith
July 9, 2014 6:19 am

The most dangerous reactors in the solar system is the one running all those solar panels…

Dave
July 9, 2014 6:35 am

“These record-setting levels were not measured in Antarctica, where ozone holes have been a recurring problem for decades,” says team leader Nathalie A. Cabrol of the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center.
You guys obviously missed the link… a SETI researcher involved in this “research”? Obviously the reason for high UV levels has something to do with undocumented extraterrestrials (can’t call them aliens anymore)

Gary Pearse
July 9, 2014 6:38 am

““While these events are not directly tied to climate change, …”
This has a famous-last-words sound. Maybe solar phenomena ARE causes of GW and GC. Solar is definitely on stage the last number of years being vigorously debated. I guess the CAGW type of argument in the post CO2 era of climate science: “if it ain’t CO2, then what is it? is what is manifesting itself. The same things have been said about both: they are too small in effect. If we rule it out, what’s left? I know this is not acceptable in logic as a proof, but maybe it’s time to make a list of what it could be. I don’t think it can be a long list.
I agree with an engineer (forgotten who) who commented on the Dave Evans article, that there can be no question the heater is the sun and everything we do should be to examine all interactions that repel, convert, delay, store, release the incident energy we get. Having blacked out everything but CO2, mainstreamers seem to be having a hard time coming back to main act.

Michael Jennings
July 9, 2014 6:51 am

Who cares what the actual score was, the models predicted a Brazil win, and so, let it be done. The IPCC (Institute of Prevaricators Cause we Can) has issued a decree based on sound reanalysis of past games which have been adjusted to make up for known biases giving Brazil a 2.5 degree victory

David Chappell
July 9, 2014 7:17 am

ROM says:
“They actually went there into some darn inhospitable country and way up into the mountains at the end of the world”
Maybe they only just got back and that’s why the news is 10 years old.

Editor
July 9, 2014 7:21 am

Why fuss about the math and errors in dates on graphs for a study about an outlier event that took place [if the data is valid] TEN YEARS AGO?

ren
July 9, 2014 7:22 am

Ulric Lyons says:
This happened during the latter part of a north pole Sudden Stratospheric Warming:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/temperature/archive/02mb9065_2004.gif
which accompanies strong cooling in the tropical stratosphere, and you can see a brief temperature spike in there late Dec 2003:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/temperature/archive/02mb2525_2004.gif
“A UV index of 11 is considered extreme, and has reached up to 26 in nearby locations in recent years,” notes Cabrol. “But on December 29, 2003, we measured an index of 43.”
Let’s see what happened in the stratosphere over the equator in December 2003.
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat-trop/gif_files/time_pres_TEMP_ANOM_ALL_EQ_2003.gif
“A UV index of 11 is considered extreme, and has reached up to 26 in nearby locations in recent years,” notes Cabrol. “But on December 29, 2003, we measured an index of 43.”
http://oi60.tinypic.com/8w0aid.jpg
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/Ap.gif

July 9, 2014 7:23 am

The take home message for AGW scientists: old data ambulance chasing (trolling old data for things that can be written up in new AGW research articles) results in more research funds. Bleeding it by tying it to human-induced catastrophic cancer causing look-what-could-happen climate affects puts it on the media lead headline.
They must be running out of new data to have to turn around and re-examine old data for anything that could be connected to AGW. This piece is so obviously a laughable example of that tactic it could serve as a late night joke monologue!

Gary Pearse
July 9, 2014 7:34 am

What attracted them to this particular spot in the first place. I guess it is the most social_ist place on the continent for one thing. Anyway, are they contending that only this spot is being radiated with UVB to such an extent? How do they know it’s unprecedented? What took so long to get the paper out? There are a lot of questions I would want answered before taking interest in the science.

otropogo
July 9, 2014 7:45 am

“Greg from L.A. says:
July 8, 2014 at 9:39 pm
…Their dark skin pigmentation protects them from both UVA and UVB better than folks living in low UV flux environments….”
Better enough to neutralize the UV levels recorded? And what protects their eyeballs and retinas?
Judging by most of the comments sampled, those lacking in skin pigment feel confident that sneering will protect them and theirs. Better keep the kids indoors though, sneering takes time to master.

Richard111
July 9, 2014 7:52 am

Once more this layman is lost. I read UV from the sun creates ozone. Ozone has a half life of around 30 minutes. So more UV is good surely!

July 9, 2014 8:15 am

i love the snark and snide comments on the thread.

steverichards1984
July 9, 2014 8:48 am

So the ‘hole in the ozone layer’ is not unique?

Latitude
July 9, 2014 8:50 am

JJ says:
July 8, 2014 at 9:31 pm
============================
ROTFL!…….made my day!

Dire Wolf
July 9, 2014 8:53 am

@ Nylo et. al.
It was quietly published that, though it has been reported in the past that Germany and Brazil won the world cup, due to recalibration we are reinstating Italy (the 1938 champion) as the actual winner.

July 9, 2014 9:03 am

A “stop the press” story, that took 10 years to get out!

Tom O
July 9, 2014 10:04 am

Am I misreading this or what? This entire “research” being released is based on data that is 11 years old? And on data that was accumulated only for 2 years? Is there any purpose in this? But on an unrelated/related aspect, on July 5th, 2014, I went out in my back yard and decided that it was time to get a little sun tan time in. It was 2 pm, actually, and I put out the lounger, and placed my not exactly pasty body down to draw a little color from the Sun. I lay on my back for 10 minutes, rolled over and laid on my stomach for 12, and rolled back over on my back – bad shoulder doesn’t like to stay in the same position too long. As I lay back on my back I couldn’t help but notice that my chest and stomach were a light pink – a very big surprise since I usually am out for a couple of hours at this time before I start to catch a burn. After 10 more minutes I got up and went under cover as I was turning red. Phoenix, AZ isn’t exactly “high altitude” and I am totally mystified as to why I literally caught a sun burn on reasonably tanned skin in 20 minutes at 2 in the afternoon. Has anyone been measuring the UV levels of the current solar output?

Bryan A
July 9, 2014 10:12 am

Another potential source for the UV increase is the rapid decrease in the Magnetic Polar Field that is occuring n the western hemisphere.
http://www.livescience.com/46694-magnetic-field-weakens.html
From LiveScience
Earth’s magnetic field, which protects the planet from huge blasts of deadly solar radiation, has been weakening over the past six months, according to data collected by a European Space Agency (ESA) satellite array called Swarm.
The biggest weak spots in the magnetic field — which extends 370,000 miles (600,000 kilometers) above the planet’s surface — have sprung up over the Western Hemisphere, while the field has strengthened over areas like the southern Indian Ocean, according to the magnetometers onboard the Swarm satellites — three separate satellites floating in tandem.
The scientists who conducted the study are still unsure why the magnetic field is weakening, but one likely reason is that Earth’s magnetic poles are getting ready to flip, said Rune Floberghagen, the ESA’s Swarm mission manager. In fact, the data suggest magnetic north is moving toward Siberia.
“Such a flip is not instantaneous, but would take many hundred if not a few thousand years,” Floberghagen told Live Science. “They have happened many times in the past.”[50 Amazing Facts About Planet Earth]
Scientists already know that magnetic north shifts. Once every few hundred thousand years the magnetic poles flip so that a compass would point south instead of north. While changes in magnetic field strength are part of this normal flipping cycle, data from Swarm have shown the field is starting to weaken faster than in the past. Previously, researchers estimated the field was weakening about 5 percent per century, but the new data revealed the field is actually weakening at 5 percent per decade, or 10 times faster than thought. As such, rather than the full flip occurring in about 2,000 years, as was predicted, the new data suggest it could happen sooner.

njsnowfan
July 9, 2014 10:20 am

Who ever flew on an aircraft during daylight hours on Dec 29 2003 had a serious dose of radiation.
Cancer!!

Gary Hladik
July 9, 2014 10:47 am

Steven Mosher says (July 9, 2014 at 8:15 am): “i love the snark and snide comments on the thread.”
Me, too! JJ’s (July 8, 2014 at 9:31 pm) was a classic!

Greg
July 9, 2014 10:59 am

Bryan A: three separate satellites floating in tandem.
If there’s three of them, it’s not in tandem.

Greg
July 9, 2014 11:01 am

Hey, mods ! What on Earth was wrong with that last post that it got held back?

R. de Haan
July 9, 2014 11:49 am

What’s the news here? The article is 10 year old and every mountain climber and mountain gliding pilot knows high altitude means high UV exposure and freezing cold so they take their measures. I for example cover my nose with a piece of aluminum foil taped to my sunglasses. Makes you look like a zombie but it’s very effective. Everything else is coverd.
As for the article, I’m getting sick and tired from all the alarmist crap.

Bryan A
July 9, 2014 12:33 pm

Greg says:
July 9, 2014 at 10:59 am
Bryan A: three separate satellites floating in tandem.
If there’s three of them, it’s not in tandem.
http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/in+tandem
IN TANDEM
[of two or more things] in single file. We marched to the door in tandem. They rode along in tandem.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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But then I didn’t write the copy I just copied the writing

george e. smith
July 9, 2014 1:26 pm

“””””…..JJ says:
July 8, 2014 at 9:31 pm
Richard Day says:
Germany demolished Brazil 7-1 today in the World Cup.
I’m sorry, but that is not correct…….””””””
Well Copa Mundial soccer, makes even basketball look exciting.
But somebody should explain the scoring rules to the USA team and their German coach.
It’s pretty simple. In soccer you have two sets of nets; one at each end of the field.
At one end of the field, if you kick the ball into the net (as opposed to over it, or around it, or bounce it off the bars), then that is called a “goal” and for each goal, they add one point (1) to your team score.
At the other end of the field, if you stop the ball from going into the net, that is called a “save”, and for each save, they add zero points to your team score.
Students of the game say the best strategy for winning the game, is to take the ball down to the goal end of the field, and kick it into the net, as distinct from kicking it over the net, or around the net, or bouncing it off the bars. If the “goalie” at that end, stops the ball kicked by one of your team mates, and throws it back to you,. while he lies prone on the ground, then you should kick the ball into the net, for a goal.
Most experienced players and coaches, say that it is difficult to win a game, by keeping the ball down at the “save” net, and racking up 25 or more “saves”, which adds 25 or more zeros to your score, but doesn’t give you any goals, which count as one point.
Given that games can be won, by kicking goals, an astute coach would give his team players, kicking instruction, on how to tell which is “in” the net, and which is “over” the net, and which is “around” the net.. More time should be spent learning how to kick the ball into the net, and less time on how to dance around the ball as if you are doing a Highland sword dance around the ball. This is not an effective way to stop the other team from kicking the ball, from under your feet, into your “saves” net, which is the same as their “goals” net.
If you don’t play to get more saves, instead of more goals, the ball will seldom be near the other team’s “goals” net.
So these are the best players in the entire world, and they can’t kick the ball into the “goals” net, to save their lives.
I suggest a rules change.
Start the game with alternating penalty kicks, one on one, until after even pairs, one team has one more point (penalty goals) than the other team. Then put up that team as the pre-game winner by one goal.
Then send the players out onto the field, for two 45 minute halves, and if at the end of the 90 minutes, the two game scores are even, then the winner is the team that got the extra pregame penalty goal. If after 90 minutes one team has more goals than the other (either team) then the pre-game penalty score is erased.
For more exciting basketball, I would give each team 90 points, and then give them two minutes to play the game, to see who wins.

Jack Hydrazine
July 9, 2014 2:53 pm

Earth’s Magnetic Field Is Weakening 10 Times Faster Now
http://www.livescience.com/46694-magnetic-field-weakens.html

Jimbo
July 9, 2014 5:01 pm

Back to the future ozone hole.

Abstract
Late Pleistocene record of elevated UV radiation in an Antarctic lake
Elevated ultraviolet irradiance (UVR, 280–400 nm) damages DNA and induces reorganisation within biological communities at the Earth’s surface. Southern high latitude aquatic ecosystems may be particularly susceptible because of low stratospheric ozone levels and extremely low contents of photoprotective dissolved organic matter (DOM). Surveys of shallow lakes and ponds in eastern Antarctica show that cyanobacteria survive elevated UVR exposure by increasing extra-cellular concentrations of photoprotective compounds, which are preserved in sediments together with photosynthetic pigments. Thus, reconstruction of long-term changes in biological UVR receipt, to provide a context for evaluating the long-term significance of recent changes in ozone column depth, is feasible in Antarctic settings. The sediment in Lake Reid (69° 23′ S, 76° 53′ E), Antarctica, spans the late-Pleistocene and contains UVR-absorbing pigments from benthic cyanobacteria. Here we show that mean exposure of these benthic cyanobacteria to UVR during the last glacial was more than three times higher than during the Holocene, likely due to short periods of photosynthetic activity coinciding with relatively high UVR fluxes, or due to increased UVR transmission to the Earth’s surface resulting from changes in external factors such as stratospheric ozone levels, cloud cover and surface albedo.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X05003365

resistance
July 9, 2014 7:01 pm

Did any check to make sure the instruments were appropriately calibrated? Before and after the measurements were taken? If so, were the measurements within the calibrated range of the instrument? What effect might the elevation have played on the instruments/measurements? Was this accounted for? Were the scientists appropriately trained in the operation of the instruments and were they using them according the OEM’s instructions?

lawrence Cornell
July 9, 2014 7:09 pm

otropogo says:
July 9, 2014 at 7:45 am … bla bla bla, snide… sneer… those lacking in skin pigment… bla bla bla .
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What ?

Brian H
July 17, 2014 11:46 pm

Supposedly, melanin reflects UV. Dark skin would look silvery-white in a UV camera; white skin absorbs UV, and would look black. Just sayin’.

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