Qurat Faiz

Qurat Faiz
M.S, Earth systems and environmental engineering, Graduate

Cohort Level: Cohort - IV

Career Goal: I aspire to get a job and advance in academia by doing Phd in Mechanical engineering at the same time.

Expected Graduation Date: January 2, 2022

Degree: M.S Earth systems and environmental engineering

Research Title: Climatological Trends of Heat Index and Related Energy Demand for Human Comfort in the CONUS and Meso-America

Research Synopsis: Air temperature and humidity both affect the human comfort and health in warm and humid climates. An effective way to measure the overall effect of temperature and humidity on human comfort (or discomfort) is using the term referred as Heat Index (HI). The HI is a measure of how people "feel" when exposed to warm and humid environments, making it an effective variable to explain the effects of heat on people, to alert of heat advisories, and to reform public health policies. Evidently, heat index is a changing variable with geography and with climate seasons and change. Warmer environments will hold larger amount of vapor, impacting the heat index. A compounding related challenge is how human comfort impacts energy demands to cope with the warmer and humid environment to maintain indoor safe comfort environments. This research aims to investigate the spatial and temporal trends of Heat Index and the related energy demands in the Continental US (CONUS) and the Meso-America (Central America, the Caribbean, and Northern Regions of South America), and its relationship to energy demands for human comfort. In order to investigate the spatial and temporal distribution of heat index and its trends in different regions of the CONUS and the Meso-America, hourly air temperature and relative humidity data will be collected from two sources; The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP) North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) and from weather stations for the period of almost thirty years: 1990 to 2019. Energy demand is affected by the effects of current and future climate disruptions. In response to the recently observed regional warming trends, this study also aims to carry out a trend analysis of the spatial and temporal distributions of energy per capita demand (EPC) and human comfort. The analysis of environmental energy will be based on HI and a newly defined index of human discomfort. In the study for the continental US (CONUS) and Meso-America, the annual EPCs will be approximated using NARR Reanalysis data. Furthermore, by analyzing regional climatology and annual trends (1991-2019), the EDC for air conditioning across the entire region will be estimated. The total annual electrical energy consumption per capita observed for several cities will also be compared with the EPC calculated from the re-analysis data. The trends for Heat Index and EPC will be qualified based on the statistical significance.