2016-03-20 Environmental Science 2

Inauguration of an Automatic Weather Station at Government College University Faisalabad

Recognizing the importance of Paris Climate Change Agreement 2015 and the commitment of Pakistan for its implementation, the Government College University Faisalabad (GCUF) has played a pivotal role in the establishment of Pakistan Panel on Climate Change (PPCC) during the 1st Stakeholders Consultative Workshop held on January 13, 2016 at the Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad. Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ali (TI) is on the Steering Committee of PPCC, whereas Prof. Dr. Farhat Abbas (Dean, Faculty of Engineering – GCUF) is convener of the Working Group – II of PPCC. For climate change research, development, and outreach (community awareness), GCUF collaborates with its national and international partners including PARC-Islamabad, ICIMOD (Nepal), TERI (India), BCAS (Bangladesh), ALTERRA of Wageningen University of the Netherlands.

Heat stress has direct effects on human health. Health studies which derive a relation between health and heat usually make use of temperatures recorded at standardised locations outside city limits. In general, they do not cover the conditions in which the most vulnerable people, the urban and rural poor people, actually live in. Due to the Urban Heat Island effect, urban areas are exposed to higher levels of heat than the people living in surrounding rural areas. In addition, indoor temperatures can differ greatly from outdoor temperatures. In order to generate weather data for true urban environments, the temperatures must be recorded within the urban locations. The existing two weather stations in Faisalabad (one at the airport and the other at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad) do not generate true urban environmental data rather they produce agricultural scenarios.

Realizing the importance and need of a weather station in urban settings, the Vice Chancellor, Government College University Faisalabad inaugurated the automatic weather station at the old campus on March 02, 2016. This weather station is complete sets of instruments and measures wide range of climate and weather parameters. These instruments have been donated by the Altera, Wageningen, the Netherlands under a joint regional project HiAware. The researchers from the Netherlands, Dr. Christian Siderius and Ms Tanya elaborated the use and functions of this weather station in the scenario of heat waves in urban environments. Prof. Muhammad Ali (Vice Chancellor) thanked the Wageningen University for their collaboration and discussed the use of data from weather station in various fields of life and natural sciences. Dr. Bashir Ahmad, local partner from PARC and Dean Faculty of Engineering, Prof. Dr. Farhat Abbas were also present on this occasion. The ceremony was attended by faculty members and large number of students of the Department of Environmental Sciences & Engineering.