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National Research Foundation awards a research grant to AUS professor entitled “Ozone Observations and their Analysis with Circulation Model”
The National Research Foundation (NRF) will fund a research project by American University of Sharjah (AUS) professor entitled "Ozone Observations and their Analysis with Circulation Model."
Dr. Tariq Majeed, Associate Professor of Physics at AUS, submitted a research proposal to NRF in 2011. Earlier this month he received a notification from NRF informing him that his proposal will receive support through the University-Industry Research Collaboration Award (U-IRCA).
"We are pleased to inform you that your proposal 'Ozone Observations and their Analysis with Circulation Models' submitted to University-Industry Research Collaboration Award (U-IRCA 2011) competition was evaluated as successful," read the statement from Dr. Husam Sultan Al-Ulama, Director of the National Research Foundation.
According to the Dr. Al-Ulama, 34 submissions were evaluated and 11 were judged to be successful including Dr. Majeed's.
NRF advances the UAE national research agenda by awarding grants for research on a competitive basis in those fields of endeavor that will improve the quality of life of the citizens of UAE or contribute to the development of the UAE as a knowledge-based society.
U-IRCA program aims to support university-industry research collaboration projects in any scientific discipline and field of application. The program supports research collaborations on a small scale, with a one-year timeframe and limited budget of AED 200,000 per partnership. A key criterion for U-IRCA 2011 projects was their potential impact for the participating companies' performance as well as the potential for establishing a long-term partnership between the entities.
Dr. Majeed said the findings of the project will have a big impact for the UAE and beyond. "We propose an observational campaign for a period of 12 months covering the wet and dry seasons of the UAE. The proposed fundamental research will be conducted in collaboration with experts in the field from overseas and our industry partner, the National Center of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) based in Abu Dhabi. These in-situ measurements will provide us with an excellent opportunity to study the chemical and dynamical characteristics of tropospheric ozone at this unique location. There is presently a dearth of ozone measurements in the Middle East. These measurements will make an important contribution to understanding ozone in the global atmosphere."
Ground level ozone is produced by sunlight acting on motor vehicle exhaust gases, primarily carbon monoxide and nitric oxide as well as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and is a key component of urban pollution. VOCs are emitted from an extensive number of sources in urban environments including fuel production, distribution and consumption. UAE is located at the edge of the Arabian Gulf and is highly affected by emissions from neighboring oil fields of the Gulf region. If the air mass traversed across the Arabian Gulf, emerging VOCs from petrochemical industries can be transported to the UAE with jet streams. Transport sources contribute a substantial portion of the VOC burden to the urban atmosphere in developed regions. One of the major tasks of this project is to explore possible impacts of transported emissions to local VOC emission inventory from various sources in the UAE.
"The long-term significance of the proposed investigation is fourfold. First, derived parameters will allow us to explore the physical processes that take place at this unique location; second, the proposed ozone study will be a positive influence on young students towards atmospheric and environmental science research in the UAE; third, the study will increase public awareness of the role of ozone in air pollution and its effect on human respiratory health, as well as its importance as a greenhouse gas and therefore to global warming; and lastly, the proposed investigation will provide us an excellent opportunity to establish a long-term ozone monitoring station that will be recognized by the World Ozone and Ultraviolet radiation Data Center (WOUDC) and Southern Hemisphere ADditional OZonesondes (SHADOZ)," said Dr. Majeed. Nadia Lootah, a junior environmental science student, will also be working on this project.