A gigantic dust cloud dubbed “Godzilla” that rose over the Sahara in Africa this year might have been caused by warmer Arctic temperatures, new research has found.
A gigantic dust cloud dubbed "Godzilla" that rose over the Sahara in Africa this year might have been caused by warmer Arctic temperatures, new research has found.
The huge cloud, which was visible from space, was whipped up in June and eventually whirled across to hit the Americas, causing air quality warnings.
Saharan dust flowing across the sea to South America is an annual occurrence, and provides important soil enrichment as well as suppressing hurricanes, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
But this year's Godzilla phenomenon could have been caused by warmer winds in the Arctic, a group of scientists reported in a study published in the Geophysical Research Letters journal.
In places, it carried 70 per cent more dust than the usual clouds which travel between the continents.
Arctic sea ice hit record lows in June, which the scientists speculated could have seen Arctic winds reaching farther south than usual.
The research was delivered at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union this week.
It found also that if the earth continued to warm, such enormous dust cloud events were likely to reoccur.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/saharan-dust-storm-visible-from-space-caused-by-warmer-arctic-research-says/dc3d271c-e34b-482b-9464-b2d3f19b9fcb