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Posts tagged Mongolia

Desertification and Dust Storm in China

35.0N 97.0E

March 10th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Dust Storms

China – March 9th, 2013

Asian Dust is a seasonal meteorological phenomenon which affects much of East Asia sporadically during the springtime months. The dust originates in the deserts of Mongolia, northern China and Kazakhstan where high-speed surface winds and intense dust storms kick up dense clouds of fine, dry soil particles. Here, dust can be seen spreading from near the China-Mongolia border, towards the south and east (click here for previous images).

These clouds are then carried eastward by prevailing winds and pass over China, North and South Korea, and Japan, as well as parts of the Russian Far East. Sometimes, the airborne particulates are carried much further, in significant concentrations which affect air quality as far east as the United States.

In the last decade or so, it has become a serious problem due to the increase of industrial pollutants contained in the dust and intensified desertification in China causing longer and more frequent occurrences, as well as in the last few decades when the Aral Sea of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan started drying up due to the diversion of the Amu River and Syr River following a Soviet agricultural program to irrigate Central Asian deserts, mainly for cotton plantations.

Intense Dust Storm Over China – March 9th, 2013

March 9th, 2013 Category: Dust Storms

China – March 9th, 2013

Thick dust blows over China, from the Mongolian border to China’s northeastern plains, where it meets a grey haze. Dust storms are among the region’s leading natural hazards. Much of the dust visible here may originate in the Badain Jaran and Tengger Deserts, two large interconnected deserts whose tall sand dunes are covered by the airborn particles.

Smoke From Fires in Russia Blows South Towards Mongolia

55.4N 87.0E

July 4th, 2012 Category: Fires

Russia – June 28th, 2012

Hundreds of wildfires continue to burn across Russia, and more than 14 new fires have broken out over the past 24 hours (click here for previous images). While eleven of them have been put out, firefighters are still struggling to extinguish another 32 blazes. Authorities say the fires do not pose a threat to residential areas.

Here, smoke from fires north of the border area between Russia (above) and Mongolia (lower right) and Kazakhstan (lower left) can be observed blowing towards the south. Visible in the lower right quadrant is Mongolia’s Great Lakes Depression, including the large, rounded Lake Uvs Nuur.

Wildfire West of Krasnoyarsk Reservoir, Russia

54.1N 99.2E

June 13th, 2012 Category: Fires

Mongolia and Russia – May 31st, 2012

Many bodies of water can be observed in this image. In the upper part is the Krasnoyarsk Reservoir, created by the dam of the same name on the Yenisey River, in Russia. The Krasnoyarsk dam has greatly affected the local climate. Before the dam was built, the Yenisey in that area was free from ice around 196 days per year. Now it is free from ice the entire year up to 300 to 400 km downstream. The huge amount of water stored in Krasnoyarskoye reservoir makes the local climate more warm and humid.

Also of interest near the reservoir, to its west, is a wildfire (best observed at the top left of the full image). Smoke from the fire is blowing in a straight line towards the southwest.

Visible in the lower half of the image are several lakes in Mongolia: the rounded Lake Uvs Nuur, Lake Khyargas (below the former), Lake Airag (the small green lake just below Lake Khyargas), and, near the bottom edge from right to left, Lakes Khar, Dörgön and Khar-Us.

Long Plume of Smoke Stretching from Russia to China – May 18th, 2012

49.0N 117.0E

May 18th, 2012 Category: Fires

Russia - May 17th, 2012

A long plume of smoke blows over Russia and China, and near the Mongolia border, first southward and then due eastward, then once again due southward, creating two abrupt right angles along its path. The smoke may be coming from fires near Lake Baikal, in Russian Siberia (click here for images of these fires).