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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

ISSN 2095-2201

ISSN 2095-221X(Online)

CN 10-1013/X

Postal Subscription Code 80-973

2018 Impact Factor: 3.883

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2017, Vol. 11 Issue (1) : 13
Global sources, emissions, transport and deposition of dust and sand and their effects on the climate and environment: a review
Feng Wang1(), Xueqiu Zhao2, Cynthia Gerlein-Safdi3, Yue Mu1, Dongfang Wang1, Qi Lu1()
1. Institute of Desertification Studies, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
2. School of Resources and Environment, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei 230036, China
3. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
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he main sources of sand and dust lie in deserts and semi-deserts, such as the Sahara Desert in Africa and the deserts in Central and Western Asia.

Dust aerosols directly alter the radiation balance of the earth-atmosphere system by scattering and absorbing short- and long-wave radiation.

Dust aerosols indirectly alter the albedo and rainfall patterns by acting as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) or ice nuclei (IN).

Dust aerosols mitigate global warming by altering the amount of CO2 absorbed by the marine phytoplankton.

Dust and Sand Storms (DSS) originating in deserts in arid and semi-arid regions are events raising global public concern. An important component of atmospheric aerosols, dust aerosols play a key role in climatic and environmental changes at the regional and the global scale. Deserts and semi-deserts are the main source of dust and sand, but regions that undergo vegetation deterioration and desertification due to climate change and human activities also contribute significantly to DSS. Dust aerosols are mainly composed of dust particles with an average diameter of 2 mm, which can be transported over thousands of kilometers. Dust aerosols influence the radiation budget of the earth-atmosphere system by scattering solar short-wave radiation and absorbing surface long-wave radiation. They can also change albedo and rainfall patterns because they can act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) or ice nuclei (IN). Dust deposition is an important source of both marine nutrients and contaminants. Dust aerosols that enter marine ecosystems after long-distance transport influence phytoplankton biomass in the oceans, and thus global climate by altering the amount of CO2 absorbed by phytoplankton. In addition, the carbonates carried by dust aerosols are an important source of carbon for the alkaline carbon pool, which can buffer atmospheric acidity and increase the alkalinity of seawater. DSS have both positive and negative impacts on human society: they can exert adverse impacts on human’s living environment, but can also contribute to the mitigation of global warming and the reduction of atmospheric acidity.

Keywords Dust and sand storm      Climate effects      Radiative forcing      Cloud condensation nuclei      Precipitation      Iron fertilizer     
Corresponding Authors: Feng Wang,Qi Lu   
Issue Date: 24 January 2017
 Cite this article:   
Feng Wang,Xueqiu Zhao,Cynthia Gerlein-Safdi, et al. Global sources, emissions, transport and deposition of dust and sand and their effects on the climate and environment: a review[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2017, 11(1): 13.
Fig.1  Global distribution of dust and sand source areas (Data source [15])
Fig.2  Main source areas of dust and sand in China (Data set source: Environmental and Ecological Science Data Center for West China, National Natural Science Foundation of China,
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