Climate change and climate systems influence and control the atmospheric dispersion of desert dust: implications for human health

By:
Edited by: Richard C. Ragaini

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Abstract

The global dispersion of desert dust through Earth’s atmosphere is greatly influenced by temperature. Temporal analyses of ice core data have demonstrated that enhanced dust dispersion occurs during glacial events. This is due to an increase in ice cover, which results in an increase in drier terrestrial cover. A shorter temporal analysis of dust dispersion data over the last 40 years has demonstrated an increase in dust transport. Climate systems or events such as the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Indian Ocean subtropical High, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and El Nino-Sothern Oscillation are known to influence global short-term dust dispersion occurrence and transport routes. Anthropogenic influences on dust transport include deforestation, harmful use of topsoil for agriculture as observed during the American Dust Bowl period, and the creation of dry seas (Aral Sea) and lakes (Lake Owens in California and Lake Chad in North Africa) through the diversion of source waters (for irrigation and drinking water supplies). Constituents of desert dust both from source regions (pathogenic microorganisms, organic and inorganic toxins) and those scavenged through atmospheric transport (i.e., industrial and agricultural emissions) are known to directly impact human and ecosystem health. This presentation will present a review of global scale dust storms and how these events can be both a detriment and benefit to various organisms in downwind environments.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Climate change and climate systems influence and control the atmospheric dispersion of desert dust: implications for human health
DOI 10.1142/9789814327503_0046
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher World Scientific
Contributing office(s) FLWSC-Tallahassee
Description 5 p.
Larger Work Type Conference Paper
Larger Work Title International Seminar on Nuclear War and Planetary Emergencies 42nd session
First page 503
Last page 507
Conference Title International Seminar on Nuclear War and Planetary Emergencies 42nd session
Conference Location Erice, Italy
Conference Date August 19-24 2009
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N