Cooling Particles

Cooling Particles
Dust plumes from Sahara in the atmosphere above Canary Islands
Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC

Historical increase of desert dust in the atmosphere is masking greenhouse gases’ warming effect

A team of researchers from the United States, Norway and Germany has demonstrated for the first time that the increase in atmospheric desert dust since the mid-19th century has had an overall cooling effect on the Earth. The scientists from the University of California (UCLA, Merced, San Diego), Cornell University (Ithaca, New York), the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder (Colorado), the University of Oslo and Forschungszentrum Jülich believe that the dust masks up to 8 percent of the warming caused by greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. If the increase in dust were halted, the previously hidden additional warming potential of greenhouse gases could lead to somewhat faster climate warming. The results of the study, now published in the journal Nature Reviews Earth and Environment, help to further improve climate models.

Last Modified: 28.06.2023