Abstract

A radiometer was operated at the Mauna Loa Observatory during calendar year 1980 to estimate the spectral irradiance of the sun and its possible fluctuation in time near the peak of solar activity. Data were also acquired on seasonal trends of atmospheric transmissivity above the marine mixing layer in the central Pacific. Spectral irradiance remained constant to at least ½% at all wavelengths monitored. Furthermore its absolute magnitude was in agreement with the Labs and Neckel values to ±2% except at blue wavelengths where the Mauna Loa values are from 4 to 12% higher and at λ = 850 nm where the Mauna Loa value is 9% lower. The residual aerosol optical depth above Mauna Loa Observatory during 1980 averaged τ0 = 0.020. An intrusion of dust into the central Pacific from the Gobi Desert (as deduced by the composition of collected particles) invaded the Central Pacific from Mar. to May 1980 and caused a perturbation in optical depth (at λ = 500 nm) of Δτ0 ∼ 0.01–0.02. The optical depth increment caused by the Mt. St. Helens volcano was <0.005 in the 2-month period following the eruption.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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