Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
Kanarit Music Ltd., Israel
A decade long (2001-13) multi-million dollar USAID MERC-Program project that focused on middle-east transboundary pollutant transport brought together scientists from Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Jordan, and Lebanon. The project, directed by P. I. Bornstein, generated air quality and meteorological climatologies, field-study meteorological and concentration observational data sets, RAMS and MM5 meso-met simulations, the first regional pollutant emission inventories, and CAMX photochemical simulations. The MERC Program was designed to promote cooperation for the solution of regional problems, build up scientific infrastructure in Arab countries, and train the next generation of Israeli and Arab scientists who could continue to work together.
The meso-met models reproduced the observed sea/land breezes and up/down slope flows associated with the inland mountain ranges. CAMX-reproduced precursor and secondary pollutant plumes that agreed well with observations. In particular, they showed a max ozone concentration at the surface at Jerusalem that resulted from coastal transportation-emissions in Israel. It also showed a previously unknown absolute ozone peak at 300 m AGL over Irbid in northern Jordan. Emissions-impact factor-analyses showed that power plant emissions from coastal Israeli areas produced the largest contributions to the Irbid ozone maxima, a result different from those of areas such as California, where auto emissions have the largest impacts. These initial results lead to additional measurements over Irbid that verified the ozone peak and to additional studies of north-south pollutant transport into and out of Lebanon.
Major results of the study include installation of complete meteorological and air quality monitoring stations in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, and Lebanon and the implementation of the first real-time Israeli ozone modeling and forecast system, which is still ongoing.