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Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Sherif M.,United Arab Emirates University | Almulla M.,Ministry of Environment and Water | Shetty A.,United Arab Emirates University | Chowdhury R.K.,United Arab Emirates University
International Journal of Climatology | Year: 2014

Spatial and temporal characteristics of rainfall in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were investigated. The region is divided into four climate zones (East Coast, Mountains, Gravel Plains and Desert Foreland) of distinguished rainfall distribution. The rainfall patterns, rainfall probability of occurrences, rainfall intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) relationship, probable maximum precipitation (PMP) and drought scenarios were investigated. Daily rainfall data from a network of stations across the UAE were used. Standard statistical techniques were applied for data analyses. The Gumbel, log Pearson, generalized extreme value, log normal, Wakeby and Weibull probability distributions were tested to fit extreme rainfalls. Both Gumbel and Weibull distributions were found adequate. Measures of dispersion and symmetry of rainfall patterns were found relatively high. The estimated PMP values were found highest in the East Coast region and lowest in the Gravel Plains region. Estimated drought severity index showed that the regions have similar trends of drought patterns over the years. The study is useful for sustainable water resources planning and management in the region. © 2013 Royal Meteorological Society.

Milchev B.,University of Forestry | Georgiev V.,Ministry of Environment and Water
Hystrix | Year: 2012

The Roach's mouse-tailed dormouse (Myomimus roachi) is an endangered mammal in Europe with poorly known distribution and biology in Bulgaria. Cranial remains of 15 specimens were determined among 30532 mammals in Barn Owl (Tyto alba) pellets in 35 localities from 2000 to 2008 and 32941 mammals in Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) pellets in 59 localities from 1988 to 2011 in SE Bulgaria. This dormouse was present with single specimens in 11 localities and whit 4 specimens in one locality. It is one of the rarest mammals in the region that forms only up to 1% by number of mammalian prey in the more numerous pellet samples. The existing protected areas ecological network covers six out of 15 (40%) localities where the species has been detected in the last two decades. We discuss the necessity of designation of new Natura 2000 zones for the protection of the Roach's mouse-tailed dormouse in Bulgaria. © 2013 Associazione Teriologica Italiana.

Sherif M.,United Arab Emirates University | Mohamed M.,United Arab Emirates University | Mohamed M.,Cairo University | Kacimov A.,Sultan Qaboos University | Shetty A.,Ministry of Environment and Water
Desalination | Year: 2011

Extraction of brackish groundwater in coastal aquifers is believed not only to mitigate the effects of seawater intrusion but also to reduce the desalination cost of the extracted water. However, evaluation of the groundwater quality in coastal aquifers is an essential initial step before determining the locations of brackish water extraction wells and extraction rates. Therefore, this paper presents spatial and temporal assessments of the groundwater quality in the coastal aquifer of Wadi Ham located in northeastern part of UAE. This assessment is considered as precursor for evaluation of the aquifer potentiality as source for water desalination. A total of 245 water samples from 26 different observation wells were collected over the period from 1989 to 2006 to assess the origin and quality of the groundwater in this coastal aquifer. It was found that saltwater intrusion from the Gulf of Oman was not the main source of brackish water in several parts of the aquifer prior to year 2000. However, results also show that more recently seawater intrusion has become the leading factor of water salinity in the aquifer especially near the coast. It was found that seawater intrusion extended about 8. km inland from the coast of the Gulf of Oman. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Anda A.,University of Pannonia | Diossy L.,Ministry of Environment and Water
Ecohydrology | Year: 2010

Local consequences of the global climate change in the Carpathian Basin were followed on the basis of simulated stomatal resistances. The Crop Microclimate Simulation Model of Goudriaan was applied in our study. The expected weather, plant and soil modifications were based on long-term observations during the time period 1961-1990 in the Keszthely area (Hungary, N 46°44', E 17°14'; altitude 112 m). Besides application of the A2 and B2 SRES scenarios, the impact of extreme hot days was also included in the study. This was necessary as these events have recently occurred more and more frequently. Demonstration of weather scenarios with relatively high warming rates was made possible by the high resolution of the model, simulating even daily changes. The stomatal resistance significantly increased in all scenarios, as was indeed experienced in the last decade (1997-2006). A twofold increase in CO2 concentration approximately halves stomatal openings even under unchanged weather conditions. This can be considered as an advantageous side effect of the global climate change on the plant's water balance, important in continental climate because of scarce precipitation. In Scenarios A2 and B2, increases in resistance were close to the effect of doubled CO2 concentration. Surprisingly, the effect of an increase in the number of extreme hot days on stomatal resistance was moderate, below than what might have been expected. The common impact of the environmental and biological factors on stomatal resistance was realized using normalized leaf area indices, where the highest increases were predicted by using the hottest and driest scenario. Moderate changes in water loss and photosynthesis indicated a certain amount of available soil moisture reserve even in the extreme weather situations in July, at Keszthely. Decrease in carbon assimilation can occur in days with extreme temperatures. Our scenarios do not include significant precipitation decline because of forecast uncertainties. A significant precipitation decrease would fundamentally reshape our results, so we do not propose to extend our conclusions in the case of significant modification in rainfall amount or distribution. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Al-Karaki G.N.,Ministry of Environment and Water | Al-Karaki G.N.,Jordan University of Science and Technology
Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture | Year: 2013

Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is a significant and developing crop especially in the Arabian Peninsula, the Middle East and North Africa regions. The area under cultivation of this tree is increasing annually. Date palms usually grown under harsh and unfavorable growing conditions with low rainfall and high rates of evaporation as well as in soils with low organic matter and nutrient deficiencies. Hence, date palm cultivation becomes dependent on application of high levels of fertilizers as well as on irrigation. This may lead to salinization of soil and leaching of nutrients to deep soils that might affect ground water. Therefore, it is important that date palm plantations are managed in a sustainable way to reduce the impact of date palm cultivation on ecosystems while maximizing dates yield through using such practices as mycorrhizal fungi technology. The application of mycorrhizal fungi technology is an option that can benefit both agronomic plant health and ecosystems. Mycorrhizae confer numerous benefits to host plants including improved plant growth and mineral nutrition, water uptake, tolerance to diseases and stresses such as drought, temperature fluctuation, metal toxicity and salinity. Mycorrhizae may also play a role in the formation of stable soil aggregates, building up a macro porous structure of soil that allows penetration of water and air and prevents erosion. All of these beneficial effects on plant health and soil fitness mean that mycorrhizae have the potential to increase agricultural productivity and are crucial for the sustainable functioning of agricultural ecosystems. This study provides an insight into the application of mycorrhizae in date palm cultivation.

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