In the Media

Fog in UAE Now More Common Because of Climate Change

December 12, 2022

Research could help forecasters predict when long-lasting fog is set to descend on the Emirates


Climate change is behind an increase in the number of multi-day fog events in the UAE, a new study suggests.


The research also found, however, that the fog that forms tends to be less dense, possibly because urbanization has — against expectations — reduced the amount of particulate matter in the air.


Fog causes major disruption in the UAE, particularly during the winter months, affecting airline schedules and causing significant hazards on the roads.


Scientists at the Environmental and Geophysical Sciences (ENGEOS) laboratory at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi are behind the new study, published in the journal Atmospheric Research.


In highlighting how large-scale weather systems outside the region influence fog formation in the Emirates, their research could help forecasters predict when long-lasting fog events will occur.


They analyzed data for the Emirates over several decades and found that periods when fog is seen on multiple days have become more common and tend to last longer. However, these events are now on average less intense, with visibility not hampered quite as much.


“We think that the increase [in fog events] can be due to the increase of the water vapor content in the atmosphere due to global warming,” said Dr. Diana Francis, head of the ENGEOS lab.


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