The Impact of Biogenic and Anthropogenic Atmospheric Aerosol on Climate in Egypt

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Alaa I. Ibrahim1, Ashraf Zakey2, Allison L Steiner3, Mohammed E. Shokr4, M. El-Raey5, Yasmin Ahmed6, Ali Al-Hadidi5 and Ashraf Zakey2, (1)American University in Cairo, School of Sciences and Engineering, Cairo, Egypt, (2)The Egyptian Meteorological Authority, Cairo, Egypt, (3)University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States, (4)Environment Canada Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, (5)Alexandria University, Institute of Graduate Studies, Alexandria, Egypt, (6)American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt
Aerosols are indicators of air quality as they reduce visibility and adversely affect public health. Aerosol optical depth (AOD) is a measure of the radiation extinction due to interaction of radiation with aerosol particles in the atmosphere. Using this optical measure of atmospheric aerosols we explore the seasonal and annual patterns of aerosols from both anthropogenic and biogenic sources over Egypt. Here, we use an integrated environment-climate-aerosol model in conjunction with inversion technique to identify the aerosol particle size distribution over different locations in Egypt.

The online-integrated Environment-Climate-Aerosol model (EnvClimA), which is based on the International Center for Theoretical Physics Regional Climate Model (ICTP-RegCM), is used to study the emission of different aerosols and their impact on climate parameters for a long-term base line simulation run over Egypt and North Africa. The global emission inventory is downscaled and remapping them over Egypt using local factors such as population, traffic and industrial activities to identify the sources of anthropogenic and biogenic emission from local emission over Egypt. The results indicated that the dominant natural aerosols over Egypt are dust emissions that frequently occur during the transitional seasons (Spring and Autumn). From the local observation we identify the number of dust and sand storm occurrences over Egypt.

The Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) is used to identify the optical characterizations of different types of aerosols over Egypt. Modeled aerosol optical depth and MISR observed (at 555 nm) are compared from March 2000 through November 2013. The results identify that the MISR AOD captures the maximum peaks of AOD in March/April that coincide with the Khamasin dust storms. However, peaks in May are either due to photochemical reactions or anthropogenic activities.

Note: This presentation is for a Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) project sponsored by USAID/NSF/NAS.

Project Link (at National Academies website):


website: http://CleanAirEgypt.org