Big Dust Plumes Are Coming – The Data

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Dust plumes are an entirely natural occurrence. These are an important part of the nutrient cycle that keeps the Earth fertilized. Dust plumes happen when winds of a very high velocity pick up dry particles from the surface of the Earth and take them along for a very long distance. Every year, usually around the summer period, dust plumes that come from the Sahara desert, located in Africa, go all the way across the Atlantic Ocean.

How Do Dust Plumes Work?

For the most part, they are quite small, and a lot of them end up sinking into the ocean. This particular wave of dust plumes, however, is going straight to America. Satellites of a very high quality have been paying a lot of attention as the dust plumes have slowly moved towards the sea. The Copernicus Sentinel, named after the famous man of science in medieval times that declared that Earth was round, belonging to the European Space Agency, has tracked the progress of the plume. It is so incredibly large, that they have even given it the nickname Godzilla.

The Data

The Saharan Air Layer is the meteorological name that has been given to the plume. The Saharan Air Layer usually forms sometime between late Spring and early Autumn. Very strong surface winds end up picking up the dust and carrying it into the air, then over the Atlantic Ocean.

If the conditions are proper, the dust has the potential of being transported into the upper layer of the troposphere, then carried the entire way to the Carribean region or even to the United States. That is a staggering 8,000 km journey. The records that the scientific community has of the dust plume date back for about 20 years. Out of those 20 years, 2020 is one of the biggest. It is common for plumes of this size to go all the way to United States.

Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.