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Archive for Dust Storms

Dust Arching Over Persian Gulf, from Iraq to Saudi Arabia

29.2N 49.2E

June 3rd, 2013 Category: Dust Storms VIIRSSuomi-NPP

Persian Gulf – June 1st, 2013

Plumes of dust arch southeastward and then southwestward from the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab, in Iraq, between the borders of Iran (upper right) and Kuwait (upper left), across the northern part of the Persian Gulf, to Saudi Arabia. Since uninhabited sandy deserts comprise most of Saudi Arabia’s and the Middle East’s land surface, it is easy for strong winds to pick up dust and create storms over the region.

Veil of Dust Partially Covering Bay of Arguin, Mauritania

19.2N 17.6W

June 2nd, 2013 Category: Dust Storms

West Africa – June 1st, 2013

Saharan dust blows southwestward off the coast of West Africa, partially veiling the usually bright green, phytoplankton-tinged waters of the Bay of Arguin, on the shores of Mauritania (above center). The dust also partially veils the mouth of the Senegal River (below center), marking the border between Mauritania and Senegal.

Dust Over Mouth of Shatt al-Arab, Iraq and Kuwait

29.9N 48.7E

June 2nd, 2013 Category: Dust Storms, Rivers

Persian Gulf – June 1st, 2013

Dust blows off the coasts of Iraq (above) and Kuwait (left) and over the Persian Gulf. The plume of dust partially obscures the Shatt al-Arab, the river formed by the confluence of the Tigris and the Euphrates, and its mouth on the northern end of the gulf.

Dust Blowing Over Cape Verde Islands – June 1st, 2013

16.0N 23W

June 1st, 2013 Category: Dust Storms, Image of the day

West Africa – June 1st, 2013

A plume of dust spreads westward, off the coast of West Africa by the Mauritania-Senegal border (marked by the Senegal River, right center). The plume extends west-southwestward, blowing far over the Cape Verde Islands.

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).