Special Issue "Observing Atmospheric Dynamics and Dust Activity"

A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2019)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Dimitris Kaskaoutis

Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development, National Observatory of Athens, Athens 11810, Greece
Website | E-Mail
Interests: solar radiation; aerosols; remote sensing; dust; meteorology; climatology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Atmospheric dynamics and dust activity are interrelated phenomena, since certain atmospheric circulation patterns facilitate the emission of dust over arid/semi-arid areas around the globe and, on the other hand, radiative forcing of dust may modulate local and regional weather conditions. Dust aerosols have significant impacts on regional and global climate, air quality, marine and terrestrial ecosystems and human health and are systematically examined around the globe via a synergy of ground-based, airborne and satellite instrumentation and numerical simulations. This Special Issue seeks high-quality and innovative manuscripts focusing on the interrelation between atmospheric/meteorological dynamics and dust activity (from emission to final deposition) over global desert and semi-desert regions. Papers examining dust-radiation and dust-cloud interactions are also highly welcome, as are analyses of optical, physical, chemical and mineralogical properties of dust, the seasonality in dust activity over specific regions, sources, sinks and transport pathways of the dust plumes, along with the impacts of dust on climate, ecosystems and human health.

Dr. Dimitris Kaskaoutis
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Meteorology and dust storms
  • Dust-radiation interactions
  • Dust-cloud interactions
  • Dust dynamics modelling
  • Dust chemistry and mineralogy
  • Dust optical properties
  • Dust impacts

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Spatial and Temporal Variations in the Incidence of Dust Storms in Saudi Arabia Revealed from In Situ Observations
Geosciences 2019, 9(4), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9040162
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 8 April 2019
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Abstract
Monthly meteorological data from 27 observation stations provided by the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) of Saudi Arabia were used to analyze the spatial and temporal distribution of atmospheric dust in Saudi Arabia between 2000 and 2016. These data were used to [...] Read more.
Monthly meteorological data from 27 observation stations provided by the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) of Saudi Arabia were used to analyze the spatial and temporal distribution of atmospheric dust in Saudi Arabia between 2000 and 2016. These data were used to analyze the effects of environmental forcing on the occurrence of dust storms across Saudi Arabia by considering the relationships between dust storm frequency and temperature, precipitation, and wind variables. We reveal a clear seasonality in the reported incidence of dust storms, with the highest frequency of events during the spring. Our results show significant positive relationships (p < 0.005) between dust storm occurrence and wind speed, wind direction, and precipitation. However, we did not detect a significant relationship with temperature. Our results reveal important spatial patterns, as well as seasonal and inter-annual variations, in the occurrence of dust storms in Saudi Arabia. For instance, the eastern part of the study area experienced an increase in dust storm events over time, especially in the region near Al-Ahsa. Similarly, an increasing trend in dust storms was also observed in the west of the study area near Jeddah. However, the occurrence of dust storm events is decreasing over time in the north, in areas such as Hail and Qaisumah. Overall, the eastern part of Saudi Arabia experiences the highest number of dust storms per year (i.e., 10 to 60 events), followed by the northern region, with the south and the west having fewer dust storm events (i.e., five to 15 events per year). In addition, our results showed that the wind speeds during a dust storm are 15–20 m/s and above, while, on a non-dust day, the wind speeds are approximately 10–15 m/s or lower. Findings of this study provide insight into the relationship between environmental conditions and dust storm occurrence across Saudi Arabia, and a basis for future research into the drivers behind these observed spatio-temporal trends. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Observing Atmospheric Dynamics and Dust Activity)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Variability and Trends in Dust Storm Frequency on Decadal Timescales: Climatic Drivers and Human Impacts
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060261
Received: 16 May 2019 / Revised: 8 June 2019 / Accepted: 10 June 2019 / Published: 12 June 2019
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Abstract
Dust storms present numerous hazards to human society and are particularly significant to people living in the Dust Belt which stretches from the Sahara across the Middle East to northeast Asia. This paper presents a review of dust storm variability and trends in [...] Read more.
Dust storms present numerous hazards to human society and are particularly significant to people living in the Dust Belt which stretches from the Sahara across the Middle East to northeast Asia. This paper presents a review of dust storm variability and trends in frequency on decadal timescales from three Dust Belt settlements with long-term (>50 years) meteorological records: Nouakchott, Mauritania; Zabol, Iran, and Minqin, China. The inhabitants of each of these settlements have experienced a decline in dust storms in recent decades, since the late 1980s at Nouakchott, since 2004 at Zabol, and since the late 1970s at Minqin. The roles of climatic variables and human activities are assessed in each case, as drivers of periods of high dust storm frequency and subsequent declines in dust emissions. Both climatic and human variables have been important but overall the balance of research conclusions indicates natural processes (precipitation totals, wind strength) have had greater impact than human action, in the latter case both in the form of mismanagement (abandoned farmland, water management schemes) and attempts to reduce wind erosion (afforestation projects). Understanding the drivers of change in dust storm dynamics at the local scale is increasingly important for efforts to mitigate dust storm hazards as climate change projections suggest that the global dryland area is likely to expand in the twenty-first century, along with an associated increase in the risk of drought and dust emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Observing Atmospheric Dynamics and Dust Activity)
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