Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Dust Off Desert Sands From The French Alps

Date:
May 19, 2003
Source:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Summary:
NASA funded scientists, using an atmospheric computer model, proved for the first time dust from China's TaklaMakan desert traveled more than 12,400 miles (20,000 kilometers) over two weeks and landed on the French Alps. Chinese dust plumes have reached North America and Greenland, but had not been reported in Europe.

NASA funded scientists, using an atmospheric computer model, proved for the first time dust from China's TaklaMakan desert traveled more than 12,400 miles (20,000 kilometers) over two weeks and landed on the French Alps. Chinese dust plumes have reached North America and Greenland, but had not been reported in Europe.

The findings are highlighted in a paper authored by Francis E. Grousset of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University (LDEOCU), Palisades, N.Y., and Universitι Bordeaux, France; Aloys Bory and Pierre E. Biscaye, also of LDEOCU; and Paul Ginoux, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, Md. The study appeared in a recent issue of the American Geophysical Union's Geophysical Research Letters.

This study looked at dust that traveled from February 25 to March 7, 1990. "The dust particles traveled around the world in about two weeks, and along their journey, crossed China, the North Pacific, North America and the North Atlantic Ocean," Ginoux said.

Research conducted in 1994 showed, over the 20 years prior, a score of red dust events coated the snow cover in the French Alps and Pyrιnιes mountains. The red dust topping these European mountain ranges was sampled and stored in bags for comparison with dust from other parts of the world. Scientists analyze the minerals and compositions of certain distinctive elements (isotopes) of the dust to identify its origin. Information about the origins and final locations of dust are important to help determine any effects from heavy metal, fungal, bacterial and viral distribution that may be associated with it.

Ginoux and his colleagues used NASA technology and support in their research. Meteorological information, such as wind speed and direction, precipitation, air pressure, and temperature, were put into a computer model. The model recreated how the atmosphere moved as the dust traveled from China to the Alps. The meteorological information was from GSFC's Earth Observing System Data Assimilation System.

Several computer models, simulating the movement of dust in the atmosphere, were used to track its journey in this study. The Global Ozone Chemistry Aerosol Radiation Transport computer model, largely funded by NASA, uses the winds, soil moisture, and surface characteristics to simulate dust generation and transport. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Air Resources Laboratory (ARL), provided models showing the paths of air masses, as they moved around the world, from the time the dust was swept into the atmosphere to when it settled on the Alps.

ARL can project where air pollution will move based on meteorological conditions. NOAA's National Weather Service National Center for Environmental Prediction re-analyzed global meteorological conditions and plotted the dust movement to verify the computer models.

This research was funded by France's National Center for Scientific Research, NASA's Earth Science Enterprise (ESE), and the National Science Foundation. NASA's ESE is dedicated to understanding the Earth as an integrated system and applying Earth System Science to improve prediction of climate, weather and natural hazards using the unique vantage point of space.

For more information about the research and images on the Internet, visit:

http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/topstory/2003/0427sandalps.html

For information about NASA's Earth Science Enterprise on the Internet, visit:

http://www.earth.nasa.gov/

For the Global Ozone Chemistry Aerosol Radiation Transport computer model, visit:

http://code916.gsfc.nasa.gov/People/Chin/aot.html

For NOAA's Air Resources Laboratory, visit:

http://www.arl.noaa.gov/ready/

For the National Center for Scientific Research, visit:

http://www.cnrs.fr/

For the National Weather Service's National Center for Environmental Prediction, visit:

http://wwwt.ncep.noaa.gov/


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "Scientists Dust Off Desert Sands From The French Alps." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 May 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030519083646.htm>.
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. (2003, May 19). Scientists Dust Off Desert Sands From The French Alps. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030519083646.htm
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "Scientists Dust Off Desert Sands From The French Alps." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030519083646.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Walking, Talking Oil-Drigging Rig

The Walking, Talking Oil-Drigging Rig

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 15, 2014) — Pennsylvania-based Schramm is incorporating modern technology in its next generation oil-drigging rigs, making them smaller, safer and smarter. Ernest Scheyder reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

AFP (Apr. 14, 2014) — To curb the growing numbers of feral cats in the US capital, the Washington Humane Society is encouraging residents to set traps and bring the animals to a sterilization clinic, after which they are released.. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dutch Highway Introduces Glow-In-The-Dark Paint

Dutch Highway Introduces Glow-In-The-Dark Paint

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) — A Dutch highway has become the first lit by glow-in-the-dark paint — a project aimed at reducing street light use. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins