Dust Between Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, Iraq – March 3rd, 201232.2N 44.2E
A dust storm or sand storm is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid and semi-arid regions. Here, dust can be seen spreading over Iraq, between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. A sandstorm can transport large volumes of sand unexpectedly, with the leading edge being composed of solid wall of dust as much as 1.6 km (0.99 mi) high.
Dust storms cause soil loss from the dry lands, and worse, they preferentially remove organic matter and the nutrient-rich lightest particles, thereby reducing agricultural productivity. Also the abrasive effect of the storm damages young crop plants. Other effects that may impact the economy are: reduced visibility affecting aircraft and road transportation; reduced sunlight reaching the surface; increased cloud formation increasing the heat blanket effect; high level dust sometimes obscures the sun over Florida; effects on human health of breathing dust.