The dust storm contains super-dry air, which ain’t good for hurricane formation. You may opt-out by. Scientists have known about the long-distance celebrity relationship between the Sahara and the Amazon for more than a decade, giving researchers such as Yu years to analyze the exchange. Saharan dust clouds make this transcontinental trek all the time, and on the way, the dust falls and settles in the ocean, in rain forests, and, occasionally, on the windshields of unsheltered cars. The fertilizing effects of African dust on this particular oceanic biosphere are less studied than their effects on the Amazon. A historic amount of dust, some say. (Photo by ELIZABETH RUIZ/AFP via Getty Images). But Saharan dust storms are driven by the seasonal migration of the winds themselves.
A Giant Dust Storm Is Heading Across the Atlantic Dust from the Sahara can fertilize faraway lands and seas, but this supersize storm is a mixed blessing.
The dry, dusty storms soak up moist, hurricane-friendly air like a sponge and can create sinking air and changing winds that tear apart baby hurricanes before they get big. Expect this ginormous cloud to do a “right hook” over a region stretching from Florida to Texas and up north into North Carolina through the middle of next week, borrowing a description from CBS News meteorologist Jeff Berardelli: If you’re in this region and still not wearing face coverings to protect others from the Covid-19 coronavirus, maybe a humungo dust cloud will change your mind? I am a writer, journalist, professor, systems modeler, computational and digital health expert, avocado-eater, and entrepreneur, not always in that order. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. “In terms of concentration and density and size, it is the most dust we’ve seen in 50 or 60 years,” says Pablo Méndez Lázaro, who researches environmental health at the University of Puerto Rico. I am a writer, journalist, professor, systems modeler, computational and digital health expert, avocado-eater, and entrepreneur, not always in that order. “These dust clouds carry a diverse community of microorganisms, some of which have the potential to be plant pathogens or human pathogens,” Griffin says. These events have happened before, … To anyone living in its direct path, the dust cloud poses a significant hazard to public health. A giant cloud of Saharan dust is expected to reach the southeastern U.S. this week after traveling more than 5,000 miles from northern Africa and blanketing many Caribbean islands in …
The dust itself can prevent clouds from forming, acting like a big blanky that blocks moisture from rising to higher levels of the atmosphere. So, if you’re in a location that will be having a dust up, this may be yet another reason to stay at home as much as you can. But there’s also never been a worse time to be surrounded by a miasma of particulate pollution that could trigger preexisting or new respiratory conditions. All Rights Reserved. In fact, such small-sized particulate matter could readily get all the way down to you lungs, causing coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.
But the gargantuan plume currently making its way across the sky, over the Caribbean and heading toward the United States, is unusual for a Saharan dust cloud, both in volume and density. “When I drive down to St. Pete to go to work, I can see the dust—big orange streaks in the atmosphere,” Griffin says. And high within the jungle canopy, air plants depend on the mineral dust for nutrients as it falls slowly to Earth, according to Dale Griffin, an environmental and public-health microbiologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. I am a writer, journalist, professor, systems modeler, computational and digital health expert, avocado-eater, and entrepreneur, not always in that order. Inhaling such particulate matter could end up irritating your nose, throat, and respiratory tract. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. A cloud of dust from the Sahara covers the lighthouse of Havana, Cuba, at sunrise. It also brings a mid-level easterly jet of air that can tear apart a developing storm. “When I drive down to St. Pete to go to work, I can see the dust—big orange streaks in the atmosphere,” Griffin says. in Florida, sparking warnings to people with respiratory illnesses to stay home. Godzilla is not the cloud’s official name. The dust may be responsible for more alluring ocean phenomena too. This dust in the wind is a relatively regular (often yearly) occurrence. A giant storm of dust particles originating from the Sahara Desert has traveled over 5,000 miles across the Atlantic ocean, the Carribean, and currently …
However, as indicated earlier, this time it’s hella big. Some scientists suggest that the dust storms can carry fungal spores or bacteria that spread diseases in corals and encourage algae blooms. Phosphorus, a vital nutrient for plant growth, drains quickly from Amazonian soil after rainfall or flooding, escaping into waterways, and in the Amazon, abundant rain is a given. It’s usually a good idea to do it in that order.
TheAtlantic.com Copyright (c) 2020 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. [Photos: The strange beauty of sandstorms]. There, in camel-colored wisps thousands of miles long, the dust hitchhikes on trade winds traveling west, across the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.
“If you’re an alga, then you love dust,” Griffin says. How about around 3,500 miles or 5,600 km long? Clearly, if given the choice of breathing in dust versus not breathing in dust, most people would choose the latter. Yep, 2020 is bringing to the Southeastern U.S. a massive dust cloud. (Photo by ... [+] Guillermo Nova/picture alliance via Getty Images). If the forecasts are true, the impact on the ocean could be big, Yu says. The current supersize Saharan plume is a summer storm, which means it’s heading northward, forecast to dump its swirling mass of particles into iron-limited waters of the tropical Eastern Pacific Ocean. The storms that head south to land directly in the Amazon occur in the winter and spring, Yu says. Plus, it could be a bit difficult distinguishing what’s going on should you develop respiratory symptoms this coming week. Some of the most famous dust storms of the Dust Bowl and similar conditions later were in fact synoptic scale events typically generated by a strong cold frontal passage, with 14 April 1935, 9–11 May 1934, 19 February 1954, and 11 November 1911 being particularly vivid examples. So consider removing your clothes and taking a shower as soon as you get back inside.
Excessive tearing could be a sign that you are either being exposed to dust or watching the movie The Notebook. Some scientists suggest that the dust storms can carry fungal spores or bacteria that spread diseases in corals and encourage algae blooms. You may not have had Godzilla dust cloud on your 2020 Bingo Card. Admittedly, there is no “Planet Earth: Dust,” but maybe there should be. Though the Saharan clouds may look disastrous, they suppress hurricanes in several ways. And this holds good news as it might temporarily give Americans a break from the hurricane season. Sea creatures are also thirsty for the precious minerals of Saharan dust, for better or for worse. But the gargantuan plume currently making its way across the sky, over the Caribbean and heading toward the United States, is unusual for a Saharan dust cloud, both in volume and density. It’s an unusually large cloud, nicknamed Godzilla because it’s potentially the largest such cloud in 50 years. The Saharan dust cloud is a billowing ribbon of life-giving minerals such as iron and phosphorus that fertilize the most biodiverse oases on the planet, including the lush menagerie that is the Amazon rain forest. The dry, dusty storms soak up moist, hurricane-friendly air like a sponge and can create sinking air and changing winds that tear apart baby hurricanes before they get big. When Méndez Lázaro looked out his bedroom window in downtown San Juan Tuesday morning, though, the sky was filled with dust, an impermeable, jaundiced gray.
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