Abstract: Air quality in the Middle East (ME) is poor as it is affected both by desert dust and anthropogenic pollutants, like SO2. Strong SO2 emissions in the ME caused by the oil recovery, power generation, water desalination, gas flaring, and traffic significantly deteriorate air quality in this region. The main SO2 sources are located near urban centers. High SO2 emissions in combination with intense solar radiation, high relative humidity, and temperature provide unique conditions for the tropospheric photochemistry and air pollution formation in the ME that have not been yet adequately investigated. We employ WRF-Chem v3.7.1 regional meteorology-chemistry model to evaluate natural and anthropogenic air pollution in the ME during the 2015-2016. Our simulations show that the surface concentrations of pollutants in the major cities of Saudi Arabia frequently exceed World Health Organization air quality limits.
Bio: Dr. Alexander Ukhov is a Research Scientist at the Atmospheric Physics and Climate Modeling group of Prof. Stenchikov at KAUST. He received his master degree in Programming in 2007, in 2011 he got his Ph.D. in Molecular Physics from Ural Federal University, Russia. Before joining KAUST he held a position as a software engineer in IT company. At Kaust, Dr. Ukhov coupled Navier-Stokes and particle model to calculate turbulent dust-laden flows, explores transport, and dispersion of stratospheric aerosol plumes created in the stratosphere by major explosive volcanic eruptions, and studies transport of dust and anthropogenic pollutants in the troposphere to evaluate air quality in the Middle East.