AIR QUALITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE | Hamad Bin Khalifa University
Hamad Bin Khalifa University

Air Quality and Climate Change

 

 

The Air Quality and Climate Change research portfolio works to enable the development and evaluation of national policies, strategies and technologies to mitigate the impact of poor air quality and adapt to climate change in Qatar. This is done by leveraging our existing institutional capabilities to deliver high-impact, research-based solutions to empower national decision makers.

The key deliverables include:

      • A regional chemistry-transport modeling Decision Support System (DSS) adapted to the environmental conditions of the State of Qatar
      • A national Air Quality Management framework to be implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) and the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH)
      • Operational forecasts of ambient air quality and PV-soiling potential
      • A regional surface and tropospheric climate database

QEERI works with national stakeholders to quantify the impact of poor air quality on energy and health systems in Qatar, and to develop methodologies to quantify regional climate trends and position Qatari technology to adapt to future changes in climate.

PORTFOLIO IMPACT

 

To provide relevant national impact, the portfolio will;

      • Build Knowledge
          • Map air quality over the Greater Doha Area and characterize its spatial and temporal variability
          • Characterize the composition of gaseous pollutants and particulate matter in Qatar to understand it’s impact on human health and economic development
          • Identify the relative contribution of local versus transboundary, and natural versus anthropogenic emissions to our pollution profile
          • Understand the chemistry and meteorology of our region and the potential impacts of climate change on the State of Qatar
      • Develop National Capabilities
          • Build a Decision Support System (DSS) for sustainable air quality management in Qatar
          • Develop operational air quality forecasts, to be shared with national stakeholders, to mitigate and be prepared for extreme weather and air quality events
          • Build a national framework, in partnership with the MME and MoPH, for air quality management to deliver on the QNDS (2017-2022) targets
      • Create Technology
          • Develop technology to more accurately quantify vehicular emissions in the State of Qatar
          • Identify candidate materials for gas sensing and carbon capture and sequestration technologies
          • Develop technology to lower the soiling of photovoltaic panels and reduce capital and operational costs for PV plant operators 
      • Deliver Policy & Technology Solutions Founded on Sound Scientific Evidence
          • Work with national stakeholders to quantify the burden of existing air quality on human health and population productivity in Qatar and recommend strategies and policies to reduce its impact
          • Contribute to the regular evaluation and update of national environmental regulations
          • Deliver technology-based solutions to national industries that mitigate and reduce their environmental impacts
          • Develop climate change adaptation strategies 

Measurement and Characterization of Air Quality in Qatar

The pillar aims to establish a comprehensive air quality and photochemical assessment of Doha’s current air shed. It also aims to establish a continuous air-quality monitoring network for Qatar. A framework for Air Quality Management (AQM) in Qatar has been proposed to the MME. This puts in place a process to identify the priority air quality research and management areas, establish national air quality goals, develop and implement the necessary intervention strategies through use of the DSS, and ongoing evaluation of the efficacy of the intervention strategies..

Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling and Forecasting

This pillar is focused on establishing a national atmospheric modeling platform (or Decision Support System) which will contribute towards quantifying the impact of dust on solar PV performance for the minimization of the energy yields loss due to PV soiling and designing of pollution mitigation and climate adaptation strategies for the region.

National Applications

This pillar’s objective is to capitalize on the knowledge base and measurement data gained from pillar 1 and the modelling decision support system developed in pillar 2 to provide research-based solutions to address nationally relevant challenges. This is done through the assessment of trends and impacts of air quality on existing energy and health systems in Qatar; the development of air quality mitigation strategies and technologies, and providing technical justification for proposed national environmental regulations; as well as the development of a regional climate database to be used as a baseline to quantify climate change within the region and inform national decision makers.

SUMMARY OF RESEARCH ACTIVITIES

Deployment of a five station ambient air quality monitoring network to assess the hourly, day-to-day, seasonal and inter-annual variability in pollutant concentrations and distribution over the major population centers in Qatar. The stations are being linked to the National Ambient Monitoring Network administered by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME).

Preliminary characterization of the elemental composition of Particulate Matter in Doha and source apportionment of particulate and gaseous pollutants during winter months. Approximately 40-60 percent of particulate matter (PM10) measured in Doha is of anthropogenic origin, including major contributions from tailpipe emissions, break- and tire-ware and construction activities. This is dependent on the prevailing meteorological conditions at the time of the measurement.

Compilation and validation of the regional Chemistry-Transport Model (WRF-Chem) on the RAAD2 supercomputer and development of a national Decision Support System (DSS). The DSS models the meteorology, pollutant emission and formation over the entire GCC with higher spatial resolution over the State of Qatar.  This allows us to understand how much of our pollution profile is due to emissions that are directly under our control. The DSS empowers national stakeholders to make the best-informed decisions on proposed development activities and planned national policies. 

Development of an Air Quality Index (AQI) and Inhalable Particulates Index (IPI) for the State of Qatar. The AQI and IPI were developed with national environmental regulations and human health impacts in mind and were submitted to the MME for national adoption.

Development of a national surface and upper air climate database for the State of Qatar. The database shows surface temperature trends of approximately +0.52 degrees Celsius per decade, with higher trends for the months of March and May.

Development of a bottom-up vehicular emissions estimator tool and preparation for invention disclosure. This tool enables very high spatial and temporal resolution estimation of vehicular emissions in any urban area.

PARTNERSHIPS

Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME)

  1. With the permission of Environmental Protection, Reserves and Wildlife Department of MME, QEERI has installed an Air Quality Monitoring Station at the Shahaniyah Wildlife Reserve.
  2. QEERI staff serve as technical experts for MME’s Environment Assessment Department in reviewing and evaluating Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports.

MINISTRY OF PUBLIC HEALTH (MOPH)

QEERI works with MoPH in assessing the human health impacts of air quality in Qatar, assisting the Ministry with validation of their ambient monitoring data and jointly monitoring air quality in Al Wakrah Hospital.