Using a database of wind speed, weather, and dust storm observations stretching back to 1970, Kurosaki et al. seek to determine whether the East Asian increase was caused by changing erosivity or erodibility. The authors find that the rise in dust storms in desert regions can be attributed largely to an increase in the frequency of strong winds. For crops and grasslands, however, the researchers tie the increase in storms to a change in erodibility, indicating that the soil had somehow changed. They propose that changes in the ground cover provided by dead leaves in the spring could be the driving factor. If so, then observations of plant growth and precipitation during the summer could provide a platform on which to base forecasts of the frequency of dust storms the following year.
Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2011GL047494, 2011
Title: What caused a recent increase in dust outbreaks over East Asia?
Authors: Yasunori Kurosaki and Masato Shinoda: Arid Land Research Center, Tottori University, Tottori, Japan;
Masao Mikami: Meteorological Research Institute, Tsukuba, Japan.
4. El NioSouthern Oscillation variability persisted in warmer world
Changes in the distribution of sea surface temperature associated with the El NioSouthern Oscillation (ENSO) cause
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