Asian dust can be transported long distances from the Taklimakan or Gobi desert to North America across the Pacific Ocean, and it has been found to have a significant impact on ecosystems, climate, and human health. Although it is well known that Asian dust is transported all over the globe, there are limited observations reporting Asian dust transported to the Arctic. We report a case study of a large-scale heavy dust storm over East Asia on 19 March 2010, as shown by ground-based and space-borne multi-sensor observations, as well as NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data and HYSPLIT trajectories. Our analysis suggests that Asian dust aerosols were transported from northwest China to the Arctic within 5 days, crossing eastern China, Japan and Siberia before reaching the Arctic. The results indicate that Asian dust can be transported for long distances along a previously unreported transport path. Evidence from other dust events over the past decade (2001-2010) also supports our results, indicating that dust from 25.2% of Asian dust events has potentially been transported directly to the Arctic. The transport of Asian dust to the Arctic is due to cyclones and the enhanced East Asia Trough (EAT), which are very common synoptic systems over East Asia. This suggests that many other large dust events would have generated long-range transport of dust to the Arctic along this path in the past. Thus, Asian dust potentially affects the Arctic climate and ecosystem, making climate change in the Arctic much more complex to be fully understood.
- Asian dust
- long-range transport
- the Arctic
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Environmental Science(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health