The Cyprus Institute: EAD in Partnership with CARE-C and Max Planck Institute for Chemistry Complete World-First Offshore Atmospheric Research Expedition

The Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) has completed the first Arabian Gulf atmospheric research expedition aboard the marine research vessel “Jaywun”, gathering ground ozone and emissions formation data in Abu Dhabi waters. The expedition was a collaboration between EAD and the Climate and Atmosphere Research Center (CARE-C) of The Cyprus Institute, and the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany.

This expedition was the first in the world to conduct atmospheric research from Spain to Abu Dhabi, in a marine voyage that covered 25 countries, and 8 seas and oceans over more than 10,000km from December 2023 to January 2024, also on board “Jaywun”, and covered three continents: Europe, Asia, Africa.

The pioneering Atmospheric Research Expedition in the Arabian Gulf undertook a comprehensive examination of the transportation and the subsequent transformation of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides. The campaign sought to assess how pollution from the Arabian Gulf is transported to other regions and to evaluate its contribution to the formation of ozone in the UAE.

The project also received assistance from scientists from the University of Bremen in Germany and the Climate and Environment Sciences Laboratory in France. The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia will also be involved when the project reaches the model simulation stage.

The in-depth scientific research trip in Abu Dhabi waters aims to:

  • Enhance understanding of ground ozone formation and connection to sources within Arabian Gulf.
  • Further improve atmospheric and air quality model accuracy to track impact of emissions across the Arabian Gulf.
  • Enable decision and policymakers to implement effective measures to control and regulate emissions

Multinational team Faisal Hammadi, Executive Director of Environmental Quality Sector at EAD, said that “following our extremely successful Atmospheric Research Expedition from Vigo in Spain to Abu Dhabi in the UAE to measure air quality, we have now completed the first ever atmospheric research expedition in the Arabian Gulf using the new EAD research vessel Jaywun. Gathered by a multinational team, the results will be available in 2024 and serve several purposes. From a scientific perspective, they will enhance our understanding of ozone formation in the region and improve atmospheric models. By unravelling the dynamics of ozone formation and its connections to regional sources in this largely understudied area, policymakers will have a better foundation for implementing effective measures to control and regulate emissions, thereby addressing concerns related to ozone”.

“The research and data obtained from this expedition will also benefit Abu Dhabi in several ways. Firstly, Abu Dhabi experiences high levels of ozone, and this study will help determine the extent to which this pollution is transported within the emirate. By understanding these transport patterns, policymakers and authorities can develop targeted mitigation measures to alleviate the impact of ozone on the local environment and public health. Furthermore, the data collected will be combined with the existing extensive atmospheric monitoring network established across Abu Dhabi. This integration will provide a more comprehensive and detailed understanding of the region’s ozone levels and air quality. This enhanced understanding will enable authorities to make informed decisions, implement effective strategies, and take necessary actions to improve air quality and safeguard the wellbeing of residents in Abu Dhabi”, he added.

The 50-metre-long, state-of-the-art, multipurpose marine conservation and fisheries vessel uses environment-friendly technologies to conduct specialised research in the Arabian Gulf – the world’s hottest sea and a natural climate change laboratory – as part of the UAE’s forward-looking science and innovation-based initiatives.

The agreement saw the EAD research vessel fitted with advanced monitoring equipment supplied and operated by CARE-C researchers, and the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry.

More than 22 parameters were monitored, including air quality regulated parameters, greenhouse gas concentrations, volatile organic compounds and aerosol properties.

The results of the atmospheric research from Spain to Abu Dhabi and the Atmospheric Research Expedition in the Arabian Gulf will release within 2024, and be vital to understanding air quality and help develop policies and mitigation plans for a safer environment for all.

Source: The Cyprus University | News (