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Electrified Sahara Dust

21 December 2018

Interesting story sent in by Gary at www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6509427/Giant-dust-particles-Sah… … large dust particles with an origin in the Sahara desert have been found in the Caribbean, 3500km away (2200 miles). They reach the UK on occasion, powdering parked cars in a yellow dust. Researchers have latched on to the fact such dust, and other aerosols in the atmosphere, do not figure greatly in climate models. Dust affects incoming sunlight – and heat emitted from the surface of the Earth (and even the formation of clouds). All this is well known but the interesting bit is that it seems such dust can be charged. Giles Harrison of Reading University says existing ideas do not explain how the dust remains airborne over a long time. Charging of particles and associated electrical forces are being explored.

The amount of dust removed from the atmosphere by rain rather than gravity is also greater than previously assumed. What goes up must come down (gravity) is overshadowed by clouds and rain- which must also apply to space dust as well.

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