Scientists have determined that the Aral Sea has become the source of dust storms in Central Asia 00:59

The amount of dust in Central Asia has increased by 7% in the last 30 years. The reason was that the Aral Sea dried up. This conclusion was reached by German scientists from Leibniz’s Tropospheric Investigations and the Free University of Berlin. The report was published in the scientific journal magazine Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

As the analysis shows, from 1984 to 2014, dust emissions from the desert in the reservoir area almost doubled – from 14 to 27 million tons.

Experts noted that the amount of dust could be significantly higher since two-thirds of its volume remains in the air.

Until the early 1960s, the Aral Sea in Central Asia was the fourth largest lake in the world with an area of ​​68 thousand square kilometers and was fed by the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers coming from the Pamir and Tien Shan mountain ranges. Due to overuse of rivers for agricultural irrigation, less and less water flowed into the lake. As a result, large areas dried out, the lake shrank to an insignificant size, and most of it turned into sand called Aralkum.

Aralkum is considered one of the most important sources of artificial dust in the world. With an area of ​​60 thousand square kilometers, the desert is much smaller than the neighboring natural deserts of Karakum in Turkmenistan in the south (350 thousand square kilometers) and Kizilkum in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan in the southeast (300 thousand square kilometers). . However, the dust from Aralkum is thought to be much more dangerous because it contains fertilizer and pesticide residues.

To assess the impact of dust from the Aralkum Desert, the team used the COSMO-MUSCAT atmospheric dust model, which estimates the concentration of particles in the atmosphere.

Dust on the earth has a cooling effect by blocking sunlight during the day, and a warming effect by reflecting long-wave thermal radiation at night. Thus, the net radiative effect of dust can be either cooling or heating, depending on the height of the dust in the atmosphere, time of day, season, surface reflectance, and the precise mineralogical and optical properties of the material.

Besides radiation effects, the researchers also found indications that dust can alter large-scale weather patterns: Aral sand dust increases ground-level air pressure in the Aral region by up to +0.76 Pascal on a monthly scale; This shows that Siberia is getting stronger. Winter highs and weakening of Central Asian thermal lows in summer.

The findings of the study reveal that increased desertification due to drying of lakes is not just a local problem but affects large regions. New data from the ancient Aral Sea helps better assess the impact of desert dust on climate.

Previous scientists I learnedIt is stated that dust storms can cause allergy attacks in healthy people.

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Source: Gazeta

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