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Dust From Western Sahara to Mauritania

23.6N 15.9W

January 14th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Dust Storms

West Africa – January 7th, 2013

Sahara Desert dust blows due west off the coast of West Africa. It is thickest from Western Sahara’s Dakhla Peninsula to below the Bay of Arguin, in Mauritania. The dust has not spread northwards into Morocco or over the Canary Islands (top). However, winds can carry such clouds of dust across the Atlantic Ocean, affecting the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and southern and eastern USA.

The presence of high concentrations of dust for such long periods of time may have a negative impact on human health. Also, if increased aridity caused large increases in dust transport to the ocean, there could be major consequences that transcend the direct impact on marine organisms. Changes in climate would also affect the amounts and the types of microorganisms associated with dust.

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