Report

African Droughts and Dust Transport to the Caribbean: Climate Change Implications

Science  07 Nov 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5647, pp. 1024-1027
DOI: 10.1126/science.1089915

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Abstract

Great quantities of African dust are carried over large areas of the Atlantic and to the Caribbean during much of the year. Measurements made from 1965 to 1998 in Barbados trade winds show large interannual changes that are highly anticorrelated with rainfall in the Soudano-Sahel, a region that has suffered varying degrees of drought since 1970. Regression estimates based on long-term rainfall data suggest that dust concentrations were sharply lower during much of the 20th century before 1970, when rainfall was more normal. Because of the great sensitivity of dust emissions to climate, future changes in climate could result in large changes in emissions from African and other arid regions that, in turn, could lead to impacts on climate over large areas.

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