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Posts tagged Sahara Desert

Airborne Dust Over Niger and Mali

18.0N 9.0E

June 3rd, 2013 Category: Dust Storms, Mountains VIIRSSuomi-NPP

Niger and Mali – June 1st, 2013

A close inspection of this image reveals yellow dust blowing about in the air over Niger (right) and Mali (left). Mostly unaffected by the dust due to their high altitude are the Aïr Mountains. Lying in the midst of the Sahara Desert, with an average altitude between 500 and 900 m (1,600 and 3,000 ft), the mountains form an island of Sahel climate which supports a wide variety of life.

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.

Desertification’s Effects on Lake Chad

12.8N 14.0E

April 29th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Dust Storms

Chad – April 29th, 2013

Some dust can be seen over the northern lobe of Lake Chad and blowing about the arid terrain north of the lake. Lake Chad is an example of desertification, the process by which land turns desert-like. During the 1960s, Lake Chad was 38,000 square kilometres of sparkling blue-green water that nourished humans, animals and plant life in the four countries it straddles: Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.

However, Lake Chad is now a speck of what it was five decades ago, measuring just 1,300 square kilometres. The Sahara desert is the culprit. It is stealthily moving southward, expanding at the rate of about 48 square kilometres every year, according to some reports. Desertification is a growing problem in Africa and other parts of the world, and will cause more conflict and food insecurity as climate change spurs it on.

Dust Storm Over Nile Delta, Egypt

30.0N 31.2E

March 26th, 2013 Category: Dust Storms

Egypt – March 26th, 2013

A dust storm is affecting Egypt, blowing across the Fayum Oasis, near the left bank of the Nile River, and obscuring much of the Nile River Delta. With the exception of the Nile River Valley, Egypt’s land surface is a vast desert plateau covered in the sands of the Sahara Desert. Less than 3 percent of the country’s land is suitable for agriculture, and less than 1 percent is able to support permanent crops.

Veil of Dust Over Libya’s Green Mountain

32.6N 21.2E

March 17th, 2013 Category: Dust Storms, Mountains

Libya – March 8th, 2013

Libya’s “Green Mountain”, the Jebel al-Akhdar, can be seen through a plume of dust that blows across the coast and over the Mediterranean Sea. Dust blowing over the Mediterranean is a rather common phenomenon, as strong winds pick up particles from the Sahara Desert and carry them northward over the sea.