African Dust: Its Large-Scale Transport over the Atlantic Ocean and its Impact on the Mediterranean Region

  • Joseph M. Prospero
Part of the NATO Science Series: IV: Earth and Environmental Sciences book series (NAIV, volume 79)

Mineral dust is a major aerosol component over many regions of the world, especially arid areas. In satellite images dust is the most persistently visible aerosol component over the oceans. There is increased interest in dust because of its impact on climate and also because iron associated with dust is an essential micronutrient that can serve to enhance ocean primary productivity and, thus, impact the global carbon cycle. Africa is the world’s largest dust source. Great quantities of African dust are transported over large areas of the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean. In this report I review recent research on African dust transport and discuss some of the possible impacts that dust might have. A major concern is the future trend in African dust transport under climate change conditions. It is very difficult to predict future trends because of our lack of understanding of the factors that affect the activity of dust sources. North Africa can serve as the ideal laboratory in which to study these important processes.


Dust Concentration Dust Event Mineral Dust Dust Source Aerosol Optical Thickness 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph M. Prospero
    • 1
  1. 1.RSMAS/MACUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA

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