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Posts tagged Mediterranean Sea

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).

Dust Across Nile Delta and Cyprus

33.2N 34.1E

May 31st, 2013 Category: Dust Storms

Egypt – May 30th, 2013

Dust from the Sahara Desert blows across the Nile Delta (bottom left) and northeastward over the Mediterranean Sea. A second dust plume can be seen to the east, spreading from north of the Dead Sea to the northwest, across the Mediterranean to the island nation of Cyprus.

Light Veil of Dust Over Mediterranean Sea

31.2N 26.4E

May 30th, 2013 Category: Dust Storms

Egypt – May 30th, 2013

A light veil of dust can be seen blowing off the coasts of Egypt and Libya, and over the Mediterranean Sea, towards Crete (upper left). Sand seas, also known as ergs, extend over large portions of Libya and Egypt. In Egypt, a little less than 3 percent of the land is arable; in Libya, just over 1 percent of the land is arable. Dust storms rank among the most frequent natural hazards for both countries.

Dust Plume Stretching from Tunisia to Sicily, Italy

33.8N 10.8E

May 22nd, 2013 Category: Dust Storms

Mediterranean – May 22nd, 2013

A thick plume of dust blows off the coast of Tunisia and over the Mediterranean Sea, fanning out as it spreads towards Sicily, in southern Italy. The dust obscures much of the Gulf of Gabès, the Kerkennah Islands and Djerba.

Saharan Dust Between Italy and Greece – May 19th, 2013

39.0N 18.6E

May 19th, 2013 Category: Dust Storms, Image of the day, Winds

Mediterranean Sea – May 19th, 2013

A cloud of dust from the Sahara Desert blows across the Mediterranean Sea, hovering between Italy (left) and Greece (right). The dust is likely related to a phenomenon known as the Sirocco, a Mediterranean wind that comes from the Sahara and reaches hurricane speeds in North Africa and Southern Europe.

It arises from a warm, dry, tropical airmass that is pulled northward by low-pressure cells moving eastward across the Mediterranean Sea, with the wind originating in the Arabian or Sahara deserts. The hotter, drier continental air mixes with the cooler, wetter air of the maritime cyclone, and the counter-clockwise circulation of the low propels the mixed air across the southern coasts of Europe.

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