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Desert Greening Through Solar Desalination


The environment is the ultimate start and end of every man-made system. Our local climate impacts the operation of any engineered system designed to operate within it, and will also be impacted by the results of this system in turn. For example, a desalination plant’s performance is liable to the quality of the water at its intake which can be affected by pollution produced by that very same plant. It is therefore critical that we intelligently understand environmental systems so that we can reliably produce sustainable engineering solutions that operate in harmony with the natural environment.

The climate in Saudi Arabia poses a challenge to designing such solutions. With its harsh desert environment of high heat, little water, and recurrent dust storms, engineered systems must be especially resilient to survive such conditions. However, the local climate also poses great opportunities. With an ample coastline and plenty of sunshine the Kingdom has tremendous prospects to intelligently exploit its natural resources for development.

In this project we use state of the art of models combining empirical and simulated data to provide key insights into the nature of Saudi Arabia’s environmental systems and the impact of anthropogenic effects upon them. These can provide stakeholders with valuable information regarding their responsibility towards and vulnerability to the local environment.


My Contributions

Project Coordinator

  • Evaluated the availability and status of a ground-based station in the region. 

  • Conducted a comprehensive comparison and verification of the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument with ground-based measurements over the Arabian Peninsula.

  • Completed a trend analysis of satellite-observed aerosol optical depth over the Arabian Peninsula and identified the sites most susceptible to increasing dust.

  • Assisted in experiments on the ice-nucleating behavior of different dust samples from Saudi Arabia in the SPIN chamber. 



Project Team Members


Principal Investigators

Adnan Alsaati, Elfatih Eltahir, Daniel Cziczo



Carolin Roesch, Hamed Ibrahim, Mohamad Alrished, Mohamed Siam, Rawan AlAloula, Samar Alqatari

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