Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 19 Issue 02

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Volume 19, No. 2
Pages 60 - 61


BOX • Saharan Dust Impacts and Climate Change

By Joseph M. Prospero  
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Huge quantities of mineral dust are carried from sources in North Africa to the western Atlantic Ocean every year. Satellite images often show immense dust clouds emerging from the coast of West Africa (Figure 1). These dust-laden air masses are carried across the Atlantic Ocean by the Trade Winds and reach the Caribbean about a week later. Measurements of wind-borne dust on Barbados, West Indies (13°10’N, 59°32’W), show the presence of high concentrations of dust much of the year (Figure 2), starting in the spring and extending through the fall. During this period, substantial concentrations of dust, tens of micrograms per cubic meter of air, are measured almost every day. During intense dust events, dense hazes cover the region, and dust concentrations can exceed 100 µg m-3.


Prospero, J.M. 2006. Saharan dust impacts and climate change. Oceanography 19(2):60–61, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2006.65.

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