Dust Storms in Africa Affect Caribbean Air Quality

Repeating Islands

africandusts

When I was much younger, my mother would speak about “the dust from Africa” that made the sky hazy and I would dismiss it as yet another situation to blame on the so-called “Dark Continent,” but in the past few years I have found evidence that the complaint was based on science after all. Here are excerpts explaining how dust clouds from the African Sahara travels thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean in large quantities—and now, those particles have more than doubled.

In a recent study, Joseph Prospero, professor emeritus at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and collaborators at the University of Houston and Arizona State University found that the average air concentrations of inhalable particles more than doubled during a major Saharan dust intrusion in Houston, Texas. The researchers were able to distinguish between particles transported across the Atlantic and those from…

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