Cynthia's Interests

The world as it unfolds - told from an African American woman's perspective...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Natural Hazards - Dust Storm Off the Coast of Western Africa

Yesterday on PBS, I heard about this dust storm that started in the Sahara. I wonder why a dust storm that is the size of the United States, which is now heading towards Florida is not news worthy?

An immense dust storm was sweeping across northern Africa on January 9, 2005, and out over the Atlantic Ocean.

On May 16, 2005, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying onboard the Aqua satellite, captured this image of a dust storm off the West Coast of Africa sprawling toward the Cape Verde Islands. Dust storms often cross the Atlantic entirely, bringing mixed blessings to the Americas.

Residents of Florida may suffer more respiratory illnesses, and the dust sometimes carries microorganisms that harm Caribbean coral reefs. However, the dust also brings iron and other nutrients that benefit marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

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