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How Much UV Reaches the Earth’s Surface?

Blog post UV on earth surface Atlas Weather Station

The Atlas Weather Station

UV radiation is, without a doubt, the most critical factor in the degradation of polymer products exposed to sunlight. Some of you may remember that we talked in earlier posts about natural UV radiant exposure data addressing the question: how much UV reaches the earth’s surface? Or more specifically: how much UV on average reaches a given area over one year?

Global Radiation Mapping

The answers to these questions are of great interest not only to global players but to everyone involved in product durability testing of polymers and other materials. Let me take this opportunity to congratulate BASF for making continuous strides in creating UV radiation mapping tools for plastics. A previous version, like the one shown below, might not have had the benefit of the high-resolution imaging we have today, but it was sufficient for purposes such as initial weathering test duration estimates. In addition, it serves as a great overview to understand where moderate levels of UV (about 200 - 250 MJ/m2) and high levels of UV (about 400 MJ/m2) occur, and where typical maxima (up to 550 MJ/m2) can be achieved over a year (all between 300 and 400 nm).

Blog post UV on earth surface Global Mapping

Global Radiation Mapping, (2016)

Weather Summary Reports

If you are interested in UV data from benchmark exposure sites, then there is no better source than our Atlas website. You can download free weather summary reports which consist of monthly and/or yearly weather data from Atlas' weather stations in Miami, FL, Phoenix, AZ, Chennai, India, Sanary-Sur-Mer, France, and Hoek van Holland, The Netherlands. The weather summary reports provide you with not only UV solar radiation data, but additional valuable data on ambient temperature, BPT, relative humidity, wind speed, wind direction, and rainfall.

Weather Station
You may want to set up your own weather station for local data collection. Atlas offers a portable option (see picture) outfitted with the same instrumentation that we use to collect data at our own outdoor exposure sites. Ask your local Atlas expert for more information.

More Information

Check out the Atlas Weather Summary Reports or the Atlas Weather Station.

For more information have a look into our online library, listen to recorded online seminars or review upcoming live educational classes.