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Dust From Egypt and Libya Over Mediterranean – April 9th, 2013

31.1N 27.2E

April 9th, 2013 Category: Dust Storms, Image of the day

Egypt and Libya – April 7th, 2013

Dust blows over the Mediterranean Sea from two main points. The first is a long plume blowing northward from the west edge of the Nile Delta that passes between the islands of Cyprus (right) and Crete (left). The second is a plume blowing northeastward off the coast of Libya, just beyond the eastern end of the Jebel Akhdar mountain range (left).

Dust Across Egypt, Israel and Mediterranean Sea – April 2nd, 2013

31.6N 33.9E

April 2nd, 2013 Category: Dust Storms, Image of the day

Egypt – April 1st, 2013

Dust storms swept from Egypt into Israel and across the Mediterranean Sea in early April. From late morning until evening, a high level of air pollution overtook much of Israel, with high concentrations of dust particles capable of passing into human respiratory tracts. The high levels of air pollution were the result of a deep low pressure system over the eastern Mediterranean Sea that brought strong winds and thereby dust and sand storms from Egypt into Israel.

Due to the high risk of airborne contamination, the Environmental Protection Ministry recommended that members of sensitive populations – such as heart and lung patients, the elderly, children and pregnant women – refrain from strenuous physical activities in the areas affected by the storm.


Massive Dust Storm Obscures Gulf of Sidra, Reaches Far Over Mediterranean – March 30th, 2013

32.4N 18.2E

March 30th, 2013 Category: Dust Storms, Image of the day

Libya – March 30th, 2013

In what has become an almost constant occurrence in Libya this month, once again, a thick plume of dust blows across the northern part of the country and out over the Mediterranean. Here, the plume is thickest over the Gulf of Sidra – so dense, in fact, that it appears almost as an extension of Libya’s land. It extends far north over the sea, between Greece (above, center) and Sicily (above, left edge). Increased frequency and intensity of dust storms is a sign of climate change.

Swath of Dust Blowing Northward from Libyan Coast Across Mediterranean – January 23rd, 2013

32.1N 20.0E

January 23rd, 2013 Category: Dust Storms, Image of the day

Libya – January 21st, 2013

A swath of dust blows northward from the Sahara Desert in Libya, over the Gulf of Sidra, past the western end of the Jebel Akhdar (Green Mountain) range and far north across the Mediterranean Sea.

Libya is 95% desert, mostly barren with flat to undulating plains. This, combined with the Mediterranean climate, renders many parts of the country susceptible to floods, sandstorms, dust storms, and desertification. Climate change poses a significant threat to Libya’s economic development and sustainability, and climate variability is likely to increase the impacts of natural hazards on agriculture production.

Dust Over the Nile Delta, Egypt

30.9N 30.0E

June 1st, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Dust Storms

Egypt – May 30th, 2013

Dust blows across the fertile lands of the Nile Delta (right), in Egypt, and  northwestward over the Mediterranean Sea. While desertification is a concern for large parts of Africa, a different threat may be more pressing in the Nile Delta region: it is among the top three areas on the planet most vulnerable to a rise in sea levels. Even the most optimistic predictions of global temperature increase will still displace millions of Egyptians from one of the most densely populated regions on earth.

The Delta spills out from the northern stretches of the capital into 10,000 square miles of farmland fed by the Nile’s branches. It is home to two-thirds of the country’s rapidly growing population, and responsible for more than 60% of its food supply: Egypt relies unconditionally on it for survival.

But with its 270km of coastline lying at a dangerously low elevation (large parts are between zero and 1m above sea level, with some areas lying below it), any melting of the polar ice caps could see its farmland and cities – including the historical port of Alexandria – transformed into an ocean floor.

A 1m rise in the sea level, which many experts think likely within the next 100 years, will cause 20% of the Delta to go underwater. At the other extreme, the 14m rise that would result from the disappearance of Greenland and western Antarctica would leave the Mediterranean lapping at the northern suburbs of Cairo, with practically all of the Delta underwater.

Already, a series of environmental crises are parking themselves on the banks of the Nile. Some are subtle, like the river’s quiet vanishing act in the Delta’s northern fields; others, like the dramatic collapse of coastal lands into the ocean, are more striking. Major flooding is yet to become a reality but, from industrial pollution to soil salinity, a whole new set of interconnected green concerns is now forcing its way into Egyptian public discourse for the first time (click here for more information).