Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study of African dust transport to South America reveals air quality impacts

Date:
August 19, 2014
Source:
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Summary:
A new study that analyzed concentrations of African dust transported to South America shows large seasonal peaks in winter and spring. These research findings offer new insight on the overall human health and air quality impacts of African dust, including the climate change-induced human health effects that are expected to occur from increased African dust emissions in the coming decades.

Image credit: Composite image from Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satelllite Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS).
Credit: Image prepared by Norman Kuring, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Suomi NPP.

A new study that analyzed concentrations of African dust transported to South America shows large seasonal peaks in winter and spring. These research findings offer new insight on the overall human health and air quality impacts of African dust, including the climate change-induced human health effects that are expected to occur from increased African dust emissions in the coming decades.

Related Articles


Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and colleagues analyzed the dust concentrations in aerosol samples from two locations, French Guiana's capital city Cayenne and the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe, to understand the amount, source regions, and seasonal patterns of airborne dust that travels across the North Atlantic Ocean.

The study showed clear seasonal cycles at both locations -- with peak concentrations at Cayenne from January to May and from May to September at Guadeloupe. In addition, the results showed that dust concentrations during peak periods exceeded World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines. The airborne dust on Guadeloupe exceeded WHO air guidelines on 258 of 2799 days (9.2%) and on Cayenne they were exceeded on 246 of 2765 days (9.0%).

"The dust concentrations measured on Cayenne were far greater than any those of any major European city from pollutants," said Joseph Prospero, UM Rosenstiel School professor emeritus and lead author of the study. "The fine-particle dust concentrations exceed the WHO air quality standard and could have broader implications on respiratory health throughout the region, including in the Caribbean and the southeastern United States."

Persistent winds across Africa's 3.5-million square mile Sahara Desert lifts mineral-rich dust into the atmosphere where it travels the more than 5,000-mile journey towards the U.S., South America and Caribbean. Seasonal dust plumes are linked to changes in dust source regions and changes in largescale weather patterns. The dust can penetrate deep into the human respiratory system due to its fine particle size, according to Prospero.

According to the study's authors, quantifying the amount and sources of atmospheric dust concentrations is also important to improve future climate change predictions.

The paper, titled "Characterizing the annual cycle of African dust transport to the Caribbean Basin and South America and its impacts on the environment and air quality," was published in the Early View online edition of the American Geophysical Union's journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles. The co-authors include: François-Xavier Collard and Alexis Jeannot of the Observatoire Regional de l'Air in Cayenne, France; and Jack Molinié from the Université des Antilles et de la Guyane in Guadeloupe France.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Joseph M. Prospero, François-Xavier Collard, Jack Molinié, Alexis Jeannot. Characterizing the annual cycle of African dust transport to the Caribbean Basin and South America and its impact on the environment and air quality. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 2014; 28 (7): 757 DOI: 10.1002/2013GB004802

Cite This Page:

University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. "Study of African dust transport to South America reveals air quality impacts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140819094059.htm>.
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. (2014, August 19). Study of African dust transport to South America reveals air quality impacts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140819094059.htm
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. "Study of African dust transport to South America reveals air quality impacts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140819094059.htm (accessed March 3, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

AFP (Mar. 3, 2015) — Thick black puddles and a looted, leaking ruin are all that remain of the Thar Jath oil treatment facility, once a crucial part of South Sudan&apos;s mainstay industry. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare Rescued Butterflies Get New Home at San Diego Zoo

Rare Rescued Butterflies Get New Home at San Diego Zoo

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 3, 2015) — Workers at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park help to save rare butterfly pupae. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Volcano Villarrica Erupts in Southern Chile, Villages Evacuated

Volcano Villarrica Erupts in Southern Chile, Villages Evacuated

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 3, 2015) — Chile&apos;s Villarrica volcano gives a spectacular display of lava as it erupts in the early morning hours, prompting several thousand to evacuate. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Fire Burns Iconic SAfrica Mountain

Raw: Fire Burns Iconic SAfrica Mountain

AP (Mar. 3, 2015) — Cape Town&apos;s iconic Table Mountain was engulfed by an orange blaze on Monday and Tuesday, blowing thick smoke to the city below, as a wildfire burned across the city&apos;s southern peninsula. (March 3) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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