glUV: A global UV-B radiation data set for macroecological studies

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


  • Michael Beckmann
  • Tomáš Václavík
  • Ameur M. Manceur
  • Lenka Šprtová
  • Henrik von Wehrden
  • Erik Welk
  • Anna F. Cord

Macroecology has prospered in recent years due in part to the wide array of climatic data, such as those provided by the WorldClim and CliMond data sets, which has become available for research. However, important environmental variables have still been missing, including spatial data sets on UV-B radiation, an increasingly recognized driver of ecological processes. We developed a set of global UV-B surfaces (glUV) suitable to match common spatial scales in macroecology. Our data set is based on remotely sensed records from NASA's Ozone Monitoring Instrument (Aura-OMI). Following a similar approach as for the WorldClim and CliMond data sets, we processed daily UV-B measurements acquired over a period of eight years into monthly mean UV-B data and six ecologically meaningful UV-B variables with a 15-arc minute resolution. These bioclimatic variables represent Annual Mean UV-B, UV-B Seasonality, Mean UV-B of Highest Month, Mean UV-B of Lowest Month, Sum of Monthly Mean UV-B during Highest Quarter and Sum of Monthly Mean UV-B during Lowest Quarter. We correlated our data sets with selected variables of existing bioclimatic surfaces for land and with Terra-MODIS Sea Surface Temperature for ocean regions to test for relations to known gradients and patterns. UV-B surfaces showed a distinct seasonal variance at a global scale, while the intensity of UV-B radiation decreased towards higher latitudes and was modified by topographic and climatic heterogeneity. UV-B surfaces were correlated with global mean temperature and annual mean radiation data, but exhibited variable spatial associations across the globe. UV-B surfaces were otherwise widely independent of existing bioclimatic surfaces. Our data set provides new climatological information relevant for macroecological analyses. As UV-B is a known driver of numerous biological patterns and processes, our data set offers the potential to generate a better understanding of these dynamics in macroecology, biogeography, global change research and beyond. The glUV data set containing monthly mean UV-B data and six derived UV-B surfaces is freely available for download at:

Original languageEnglish
JournalMethods in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)372-383
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 04.2014

Bibliographical note

©2014 The Authors. Methods in Ecology and Evolution©2014 British Ecological Society

    Research areas

  • Biology - Aura-OMI, Bioclim, Climatology, CliMond, Global data, Macroecology, Species distribution modelling, UV-B radiation, WorldClim
  • Ecosystems Research