University of Salford - Shedding light on dust clouds

January 24, 2008

The global impact of the world's largest dust-producing area has been cast into doubt by a scientist from the University of Salford. Adrian Chappell of the School of Environment and Life Sciences visited the Bodélé Depression in Chad, and set up more than 50 masts to monitor airborne particles. Dust clouds from the area have been shown to affect the Earth's temperature, and they help to fertilise the Amazon rainforest, where 45 million tonnes of particles end up each year. But Dr Chappell found that the amount and type of material he trapped was highly variable, suggesting that simple calculations could result in highly inaccurate estimates of the Bodélé's impact.

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