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Dust Blowing Off Western Sahara Coast

23.6N 15.9W

December 31st, 2012 Category: Climate Change, Dust Storms

Mauritania – December 28th, 2012

Dust blows off the coast of Western Sahara and over the Atlantic Ocean. It appears thickest in the upper left corner, beyond the Wad Ad-Dahabnota Peninsula (also known as the Villa Cisneros Peninsula). Research has shown that dust storms are increasing  in the Sahara Desert and that in parts of North Africa, annual dust production has increased tenfold in the last 50 years.

Since dust storms transport large amounts of material for long distances, their increasing frequency could have serious consequences for the environment. Scientists say the deposition of dust could affect climate change, disease transmission and air pollution. One concern is that as dust deposits increase, levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could change, directly affecting temperatures and rainfall.

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