Dusty Earththe fact that the Earth is more dusty now that in the past, influences the climate?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Dust could be caused from global warming drying out the land, but it can also be caused by humans plowing up fields, cutting down trees, over-farming land and basically causing all kinds of problems that were not there before or would not naturally have been there.
pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Dust can influence the climate.  If there is enough dust in the air (either in a specific area or across the whole world) more sunlight is blocked and the temperature will tend to drop.  Dust can also make it easier for clouds to form.  This increases the amount of cooling and may bring more rain.

But we don't know exactly how much total dust is in the atmosphere and how much new dust is going up into the air today.  So we don't know for sure what overall impact dust has had.  All we know is that it does make climate forecasting that much more difficult.

giorgiana1976's profile pic

giorgiana1976 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

Since solar radiation is limited by the amount of dust, we can say that the dust influences the climate, because it veils the warming effects caused by the increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in atmosphere.

Dust represent also a rich source of iron, so more dust means more plankton in oceans and more carbon in our atmosphere.

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