Dust in the Earth System

Friday, February 19, 2010: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Room 8 (San Diego Convention Center)
Environmental pollution from natural and anthropogenic causes is considered to be one of the most serious worldwide environment-related health problems and is expected to worsen with changes in the global climate. Dust storms from the atmospheric transport of soil have become an increasingly important component of emerging air quality issues across the globe. Recent studies have shown that significant health impacts can result from the dust itself as well as from the accompanying pollutants, pesticides, metals, salt, plant debris, and other inorganic and organic materials, including viable microorganisms. Dust is important not only as a potential pollutant, but also as an active climate component in controlling radiative properties of the atmosphere and (through iron fertilization) on ocean and atmospheric carbon dioxide. Geologic records of dust are diagnostic of past climate and vegetation changes and can provide direct evidence of past atmospheric circulation and winds. Dust and associated eolian sand records are critical to understanding episodic drought and landscape sensitivity and provide key data for understanding the long-term role of dust in the Earth system by serving as “ground truth” for empirical observation of current conditions. This session will serve as a forum to discuss dust and its effects in the Earth system while considering societal impact at the local and global levels by exchanging information, ideas, and perspectives across diverse disciplines.
E. Arthur Bettis III, University of Iowa
Paul M. Bertsch, University of Kentucky
and Nicholas Lancaster, Desert Research Institute
Daniel Jaffe, University of Washington
and Kris Wilson, Emory University
Karen Kohfeld, Simon Fraser University
Overview of Dust in the Earth System
Daniel R. Muhs, U.S. Geological Survey
The Geologic Record of Dust Deposition
Natalie Mahowald, Cornell University
Dust in Earth System Models
Oliver Chadwick, University of California
Dust Impacts on Terrestrial Ecosystems
See more of: Understanding Environmental Change
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