Research Projects

Current Research

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Atmospheric and Climate Modeling Recearch Group have established the world-class dust observation capability at Kaust campus. On the top left is the KAUST world-class atmospheric radiation instrumentation (CIMEL ROBOTIC SUNPHOTOMETR) installed at the roof of marine sciences building that is capable of measuring of incoming direct and diffuse solar radiation in multiple wave lengths.
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Dust is a very important issue for the Kingdom that is located in the heart of the dust belt. Dust affects all aspects of human activities, health, transportation, machinery, as well as causes a serious obstacle for harvesting of solar energy in the region. Top left is dust storm image from NASA MODIS instrument.
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This work is in cooperation with WDRC and EnSE. We use regional model WRF to understand and predict meteorological condition that cause extreme precipitation. Pictures on the left show wind vectors, surface air temperature, specific humidity, and total water vapor for three recent extreme precipitation events in Jeddah in 2009, 2010, and 2011.
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Atmospheric and Climate Modeling Research Group is doing advanced numerical modeling of environmental processes of different scales using the high resolution global atmospheric model (HIRAM) and the regional weather research and forecast (WRF) model. Both models use similar mathematical approach (equations are shown on the slide) but global model is applied for the entire sphere and regional focuses on a specific region.
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900kmx900km area in the Arabian desert receives solar power that, if converted to electricity, would be enough for the entire world.  However dust undermines this resource as dust deposition to solar panels degrades their efficiency.  Bottom left figure shows annual dust deposition flux.  Top right is the solar panel that was not cleaned for a month.  
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This research project is funded by SABIC. We assess wind power availability in the Kingdom. Bottom left figure shows wind power associated with breezes near the Red Sea coast. Top right figure shows relative time when sufficient wind power is available at 80 m above ground.  The west-central area looks promising.  The bottom right movie (click to animate) shows the wind power in the free troposphere .  The red-brown core shows the jet at altitude of 7-12 km that has extremely high wind power density.
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Atmospheric and Climate Modeling Research Group provides an expert support for the UN/ESCWA project on vulnerability of Water resources in Arab countries. For this work Group use their high-resolution atmospheric model and super KAUST computational facilities to conduct simulations for the past (to test the model performance when we have observations) and for 50 years for future to predict an expected impact on natural systems and human society.