A new computer model of the atmosphere can now actually pinpoint
where global dust events come from, and can project where theyre going.
The model may help scientists better evaluate the impact of dust on
human health, climate, ocean carbon cycles, ecosystems, and atmospheric
Also, by seeing where dust originates and where it blows people with
respiratory problems can get advanced warning of approaching dust
clouds. The model is physically more realistic than previous ones, said
Mian Chin, a co-author of the study and an Earth and atmospheric
scientist at Georgia Tech and the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in
Greenbelt, Md. It is able to reproduce the short term day-to-day
variations and long term inter-annual variations of dust concentrations
and distributions that are measured from field experiments and observed
The above images show both aerosols measured from space (left) and the
movement of aerosols predicted by computer model for the same date (right).