Dust Storm over China’s Taklamakan Desert
The desert is bounded by the snow-capped Kunlun Mountains to the south, and the Tian Shan Mountain Range to the west and north. The dust storm appears contained by the mountain ranges.
Above the Tian Shan Range, two lakes are visible: the smaller, turquoise Kapchagayskoye Reservoir, and the larger Lake Balqash in southeastern Kazakhstan.
After the basin of the Aral Sea, the Taklaman and Gobi deserts in China represent the second biggest sources of dust on Earth. Blowing sands can reach all the way to China’s east coast, affecting cities such as Beijing. In the past, the Pacific Trade Winds have even carried dust from the Taklaman as far as Washington, DC, and the Alps.
Some environmental scientists believe that the dust problem in China is getting worse, reports C. Edwards from Geographical. Changes in wind and rainfall patterns in the Taklaman and Gobi deserts could be releasing more particles into the atmosphere.