May 01, 2012

What is This?


This would be the hood of my car, some 30 minutes AFTER I picked it up from the car wash. It seems we’ve got sand in the atmosphere. Every time I was my car, which is rarely, it is followed by a sand shower.
Hood of my car with buildings reflecting

Useless to wash anything outdoors now, for the past 4 days it’s been layering the city with a very fine dust. You don’t really notice (other than that the visibility is very poor and the sky is extremely bright, but you do not see the sun), until it rains; sand showers.
We’re somewhere on the outskirts of this cloud of dust . This onecoming from our southern neighbors, shows it even better,  

There’s a whole science in ‘atmospheric mineral dust’. Most of it comes from the North African and Arabian and Syrian deserts.
'More than 89% of the total annual dust is accumulated between December and May, the ‘high dust season’ (. . .) Dust-fall has beneficial effects on the soil as a source of nutrients. In addition, suspended dust plays an important role in neutralizing acid rain in the region.' (from this source.)

 So don't bother washing your car of your balcony or your windowns the coming day. We've got dust till friday. 

3 comments:

thepresentperfect said...

Uh, yeah, I made that mistake today! (With a borrowed car no less!)

REALLY cool picture of the dust on your hood!

UTH said...

Interesting fact I recently read in Science et Vie:

The Amazon forest has got one of the poorest soils in the world, yet its vegetation is, the least to say, extremely lush.

Apparently, the high winds carry away, daily, 70 000 tons (if I'm not mistaken) of mineral-rich sand and dust from the Sahara desert to the Amazon forest.

Scientists could even trace the origin of the dust to one specific location, a small valley near the Chad lake, that makes 0.5% of the rainforest's area!

I thought it's too amazing not to share :)

Here's a couple of links I just googled:

- http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/10/31/rainforest_dust_link/

- http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2007/03/09/saharan-dust-savior-of-the-amazon-rainforests/

Sietske said...

@ thepresentperfect: Yeah!! Pretty annoying, right?
@UTH: Wow, didn't even know that. That's pretty cool. It does show you that this dinosaur extinction story (when the entire atmosphere was filled with dust from the impact) makes sense too.