Dust!

Reigate Grammar School Weather Station

Saharan dust reaching the UK gets in the news quite regularly, usually unfavourably in connection with pollution events. Desert dust is one of several types of minute particles, called aerosols, that are emitted into the atmosphere including volcanic ash, carbon, salt and soot from fires. Human made aerosols, such as CFCs and sulfate aerosols from the burning of fossil fuels, are infamous for destroying the ozone layer and causing climate change but 90% of atmospheric aerosols have natural origins and they all contribute in major ways to the global weather machine. The aerosols constantly floating around in the air that we breathe are usually made up of a complex mix of particles clumping together in a, usually, invisible soup that we are unaware of most of the time.  Here is some information about desert dust to help get to grips with this impressive weather phenomenon and hopefully clear the air of those mysterious arid particles!

Where does it…

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