The synergy of ambient air quality and thermal discomfort: A case study of Greater Cairo, Egypt


  • MOSTAFA ABD EL-HAMEED MOHAMED Department of Natural Resources, Faculty of African Postgraduate Studies, Cairo University, 12613 Giza, Egypt
  • MOHAMMED M. A. HWEHY Air Quality Department, Environmental Quality Sector, Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency, Cairo, Egypt
  • FAWZIA IBRAHIM MOURSY Department of Natural Resources, Faculty of African Postgraduate Studies, Cairo University, 12613 Giza, Egypt
  • ATTIA MAHMOUD EL-TANTAWI Department of Geography, Faculty of African Postgraduate Studies, Cairo University, 12613 Giza, Egypt



The discomfort index, Air Quality Index, Particulate matter (PM10), Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), Sulfur dioxide (SO2)


The interaction between thermal discomfort and air pollution poses significant challenges for human health and environmental well-being. When there is a high level of air pollution, it can worsen thermal discomfort by trapping heat in the atmosphere. This paper aims to study this interaction in arid megacities during different weather events. Weather data and air pollution were utilized to evaluate air quality, thermal discomfort levels, their impact, and their relationship at three separate sites (Qaha, Naser City, and 6th of October City). The ambient air quality is determined by measuring the levels of particulate matter (PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2). The work included a statistical analysis of the discomfort index (DI) and the air quality index (AQI) for each city and their linkage with the weather. The air quality evaluation revealed that a significant portion of the population in Qaha frequently experienced discomfort and were exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution. The results show that most of the population in all three cities experience discomfort at least some of the time with varying degrees. In Qaha, 28.97% of the population experiences no discomfort, while 25.41% experiences severe stress. In Nasr City, 32.15% of the population experiences no discomfort, while 20.21% experiences severe stress. The 6th of October City, 33.76% of the population experienced no discomfort, while 16.65% experienced severe stress. Noted that certain months, specifically June to September, are associated with higher levels of discomfort, affecting more than 50% of the population. Seasonal variations in discomfort can be due to a range of factors, including weather, climate, and environmental conditions. The temporal variation in discomfort reflects the challenges people face when transitioning from colder to hotter seasons.


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How to Cite

MOHAMED, M. A. E.-H., HWEHY, M. M. A., MOURSY, F. I., & EL-TANTAWI, A. M. (2023). The synergy of ambient air quality and thermal discomfort: A case study of Greater Cairo, Egypt. Journal of Agrometeorology, 25(4), 553–559.