Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘dust storm’

China Shrouded in Sand, Dust and PM

Posted by feww on March 10, 2013

It’ll get a lot worse, before it’s all over!

Another major sandstorm hit large portions of northern and central China including the capital Beijing .

china sand dust pm
Original caption: Citizens are seen amid dust and sand in Zhengzhou, capital of central China’s Henan Province, March 9, 2013. A sandstorm swept through Henan on Saturday, causing temperature drop and low visibility. (Xinhua/Zhao Peng). Image may be subject to copyright. More images…

  •  It was the second sandstorm to hit China this year, following the February 28 massive sandstorm that originated in Gobi Desert, Mongolia.
  • The sand and dust which buffeted Beijing, forced the temperatures to drop by up to 9 degree Celsius, said a report.
  • “The wind and dusty weather changed the capital’s major air pollutant component from PM2.5, airborne particles measuring less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, to PM10.”
  • The average density of PM10 rose sharply starting μ Saturday, with the peak density reaching 1,000 mg per square meter around noon in western parts of downtown Beijing.
  • The wort affected areas included Liaoning, Shandong and Hebei provinces, and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region as well as Tianjin Municipality in northern China, Henan province in central China, Sichuan province in SW  China, and Guangdong province on the South China Sea coast of the country.

Beijing Air Quality “Worse than SARS”

The poor air quality, according to a leading Chinese public health expert, is worse than SARS because nobody can escape it. Research suggests that air pollution can “raise the risk of cardio-respiratory death by 2 to 3 percent for every increase of 10 micrograms per cubic meter of pollutants.” Only 1 percent of China’s 560 million urban residents breathe air considered safe by the European Union, according to a 2007 World Bank study. A report released by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection in November 2010 showed that “about a third of 113 cities failed to meet national air standards.” (

China’s Soil Pollution: The “Silent Killer”

“About 40 percent of China’s agricultural land is irrigated with underground water, of which 90 percent is polluted, according to Liu Xin, a food and health expert and a member of an advisory body to parliament, who was quoted in the Southern Metropolitan Daily,” said a report.

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Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,098 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …


Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in air poisoning, air quality, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dozens Dead or Injured in Pakistan Dust Storms

Posted by feww on June 7, 2012

Major dust storms sweep Pakistani cities killing at least 15 people and injuring more than 60

Powerful dust storms struck multiple cities in Pakistan including Lahore, Faisalabad, Quetta and Peshawar, leaving at least 15 people dead and more than 60 injured.

The dust storms hit the country amid a severe heatwave which had persisted for the 8 days. “On Tuesday, Lahore and Noor Pur Thal remained the hottest places in the province where mercury rose as high as 45 degree Celsius. The minimum temperature in Lahore was recorded at 30 C,” said a report.

Other Global Disasters, Significant Events

  • China. Drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) is now a ‘serious epidemic’ in China At least a million Chinese develop TB each year, researchers say, of which 110,000 get a strain that’s resistant to the mainstay drugs isoniazid and rifampin.
    • According to a  new survey, more than 8,200 Chinese contract extensively resistant or XDR-TB, most of which are incurable.

Under a high magnification of 1,5549x, this colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicted some of the ultrastructural details seen in the cell wall configuration of a number of Gram-positive Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. As an obligate aerobic organism M. tuberculosis can only survive in an environment containing oxygen. This bacterium ranges in length between 2 – 4 microns, and a width between 0.2 – 0.5 microns. See PHIL 8438 for a black and white version of this image.
TB bacteria become active, and begin to multiply, if the immune system can’t stop them from growing. The bacteria attack the body and destroy tissue. If in the lungs, the bacteria can actually create a hole in the lung tissue. Some people develop active TB disease soon after becoming infected, before their immune system can fight off the bacteria. Other people may get sick later, when their immune system becomes weak for another reason. Babies and young children often have weak immune systems. People infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, have very weak immune systems. Other people can have weak immune systems, too, especially people with any of these conditions: substance abuse; diabetes mellitus; silicosis; cancer of the head or neck; leukemia or Hodgkin’s disease; severe kidney disease; low body weight; certain medical treatments (such as corticosteroid treatment or organ transplants); specialized treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, or Crohn’s disease. Caption: CDC/ Dr. Ray Butler. Photo: Janice Haney Carr

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in Dust storms, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, Mega dust storms | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Major Dust Storm Moves Across Arizona

Posted by feww on July 6, 2011

Massive dust storm causes near zero visibility in large parts of Arizona

A 100-km wide and up to 3-km high dust storm moved over the Phoenix area Tuesday night, causing near-zero visibility, grounding flights, wreaking havoc on the roads and cutting power to thousands of homes and businesses.

“This was pretty significant,” said an NWS meteorologist. “We heard from a lot of people who lived here for a number of storms and this was the worst they’d seen.”

Wind gusts of up to 60MPH pushed the dust cloud, which originated in Tuscon area,  north across the desert and then northwest through Phoenix, Avondale, Tempe and Scottsdale, reports said.

A very large and historic dust storm moved through a large swatch of Arizona during the late afternoon and evening hours of July 5, 2011. Widespread reports of near zero visibility and winds gusting over 50 mph were received by the NWS Phoenix office. Image and Caption: NWS

North American Monsoon System (NAMS), aka, the Southwest Monsoon.

The dust storm is related to the North American Monsoon. “Monsoon storms can cause damaging winds, torrential rainfall, frequent lightning and dust storms,” NWS said.

The belated North American Monsoon typically starts in mid-June and lasts through late September. 


In terms of “weather”, the monsoon is associated with a dramatic in increase in summer precipitation, mostly in the form of thunderstorms.  The basic forcing of the monsoons is derived from a seasonal contrast in the heating of the land continent versus the ocean. Source o image and caption: NWS.

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Planet Dust Bowl

Posted by feww on December 4, 2010

20 Million Tons of Dust in the Air

Minimum dust content in the atmosphere higher than 20 million tons: FIRE-EARTH

Thanks (!) to human induced climate change, exacerbating droughts, dust storms and a few other natural mechanism, as well as deforestation and increased agricultural damage …, the atmosphere contained a minimum of about 20 million tons of dust during the past 12 months, FIRE-EARTH estimates.

[NOTE: The estimate does not include particles from smoke and burning fossil fuels, or ash and other volcanic materials.]

Dust over the Mediterranean

A large plume of dust from the Sahara, extending about 700km, drifts northward across the Mediterranean Sea toward Greece. Natural-color imageas captured by MODIS instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite on November 10, 2010.  Download large image (3 MB, JPEG) . Click image to enlarge. Source: NASA E-O

Dust covers the Gulf of Alaska, again

Dust blows off the coast of Alaska covering the Gulf of Alaska for the second time in as many weeks. “Although dust storms often arise from sand seas, such as those of the Sahara or the Arabian Peninsula, dust can also result from the interactions of glaciers and bedrock.” The natural-color image was acquired by MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite on December 1, 2010. Download large image (1 MB, JPEG). Source: NASA E-O.

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Posted in deforestation, desert sandstorm, Drought, human induced climate change, Sandstorm | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Gobi Tries to Bury E China

Posted by feww on November 12, 2010

Fast-moving sand from Gobi Desert reaches as far as east coast of Japan

When will large parts of China be buried under 6 feet of sand, in 2010, 2011, or 2012?

Download large image
(3 MB, JPEG) — Image acquired November 11, 2010

A true color image of North China Plain, Shandong Peninsula and the Bo Haitaken was taken by MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite as sand  from Gobi Desert blew across the region. Source: NASA E-O.

A dust storm that blew through Asia’s Gobi Desert on November 10, 2010, quickly intensified as the day wore on. When the MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image at 1:50 p.m. Beijing time (5:50 UTC), the dust plumes were considerably thicker than they had been just two hours earlier. Smaller dust plumes also appeared north of the Mongolia-China border. Source of image and caption: NASA E-O.

The dust from Gobi Desert passed over the East China Sea, and the Sea of Japan on November 12, 2010, when MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite took this image. “A veil of dust forms an arc hundreds of kilometers long, and extends from the Yellow Sea to the northern Sea of Japan. Thick dust also blows over the nation of Japan. In the northeast, clouds hide parts of the dust plume. Although skies appear mostly dust-free over the Korean Peninsula, weather reports from November 11 and 12 reported widespread dust over Seoul, the location of the Group of 20 summit.” Source of image and caption: NASA E-O. [Image added November 13, 2010.] Download large image (7 MB, JPEG).


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Posted in China Dust Storm, China Sandstorm, Gobi Desert | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Killer Dust Storms Strike India, Middle East

Posted by feww on May 12, 2010

Desertification: A Major Mechanism of Collapse

Killer Dust Storms Wreak Havoc in India, Middle East

On May 7, 2010 a dust storm and squall struck two Indian states of Uttar Pradesh (pop. 192 million) and Bihar (pop. 85 million) killing at least 57.

The following MODIS images show dust storms over a large section of Middle East including Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as the U.S. State of Washington:

Dust over Syria, Turkey and Iraq

Dust blankets Syria’s Fertile Crescent in this natural-color image from May 11, 2010. The pale cloud of dust masks the farm-lined Euphrates River in the right half of the image and extends to the Turkish border. The dust is blowing east toward Iraq. MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image on the afternoon of May 11.  Daily images of Syria are available from the MODIS Team. Image and Caption: NASA E/O [edited for brevity.] Click image to enlarge. Download large image (4 MB, JPEG)

Dust Storm over Afghanistan and Pakistan

On May 5, a thick band of dust extended along hundreds of kilometers of the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. This photo-like image, taken by MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite, shows the southernmost portion of the plume. The large image shows the entire plume over a broader region. The dust is thick enough to hide the ground from view. It is not clear from this image where the dust is coming from, but dry wetlands in this region are a common source of dust. One such wetland, the Hamun-i-Mashkel is in the lower left corner of the image. The dried wetland is a lighter shade of brown than the surrounding desert. Image and Caption: NASA E/O [edited for brevity.]
Click image to enlarge. Download large image (732 KB, JPEG)

Spring Dust Storm in Washington

A dark plume of dust extends across nearly half of Washington state in these natural-color images from May 3, 2010. MODIS acquired the image from NASA’s Terra satellite at 12:40 p.m. local time.Image and Caption: NASA E/O [edited for brevity.]
Click image to enlarge. Download large 12:40 p.m. image (281 KB, JPEG)

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Serial No 1,712. Starting April 2010, each entry on this blog has a unique serial number. If any of the numbers are missing, it may mean that the corresponding entry has been blocked by Google/the authorities in your country. Please drop us a line if you detect any anomaly/missing number(s).

Posted in desertification, dust storm in India, Dust Storms in Middle East, Mechanism of Collapse, squall | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

SW China on the precipice of catastrophe

Posted by feww on March 20, 2010

Worst Ever Drought in SW China is Getting Even Worse!

The numbers of people and livestock short of drinking water in SW China have risen from 11 million and 2 million respectively just 5 days ago to more that 20 million people and 12 million  livestock today.

The deadly drought is now spreading to other parts of China including the northwest, north and northeast China.

Up to 60 million people throughout  China are now affected by severe drought, and experts say it can only get worse.

A massive dust storm swept across eastern China on March 12, 2010. The dust appears to have been transported by winds from the west, which is consistent with soil erosion caused by the drought. Source NASA. Click image to enlarge.

Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region in south China, one of the country’s poorest areas is suffering its worst drought in 58 years ever, with only 2.2 mm of rain since October 2009, People’s Daily reported.

“Since last September, rainfall in Guangxi, as well as neighboring Yunnan and Guizhou provinces, has fallen to the lowest levels since 1952, said the China Meteorological Administration. Coupled with persistent high temperatures, the lack of rain has resulted in a severe drought that is affecting about 11 million people.”

That report was released 5 days ago. The ongoing drought, which has lasted 3 harvests, has affected more than 6.5 million hectares of farmland across the country, today’s media report said.

“Relief work is becoming difficult because the dry conditions have lasted for such a long time, reducing available water sources.”

“Southwest China is facing the most severe situation. Nearly 90 per cent of China’s drought-affected farmland is in Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi, Sichuan and Chongqing. And more than half of that is in Yunnan province.” Zhang Xu, Dep. Director-General of Drough Relief HQ, was reported as saying.

“We should detail a water supply plan, consolidate water management, economize our use of water, and use every method to ensure water supply.”

Farmers in China’s Yunnan province face a bleak future, if the drought continues. Image captured from CCTV news. Image may be subject to copyright. Click image to enlarge.

The drought has affected the last three harvest seasons. Experts say the hot and dry weather will continue in southwest China for the foreseeable future.

These conditions in the region are described as the “worst  in a century.” But no one really knows how bad the worst conditions might have been then.

The government is urging people to use water sparingly. The irony of it being that there is NO water to use, sparingly or not. The authorities were also quoted as saying that the “choice of whether to use water for people or farming is becoming more difficult.”

Surely, someone must have mistranslated that last line. They couldn’t possibly have meant that. Could they?

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Posted in Drought, drought and deluge, human impact, severe drought, Sichuan drought | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Humongous Dust Storm Sweeps Africa

Posted by feww on March 20, 2010

10,000-km dust storm plagues Africa

Click here to download large image (5 MB, JPEG)

A massive  dust storm stretching from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean swept across the southern Sahara Desert, Africa on March 19, 2010. Composite image, spanning more than 10,000 kilometers (6,000 miles), was taken by NASA/Aqua/Terra/ MODIS and consists of 7 satellite overpasses. Gray triangular areas represent satellites blind spots. The composite also captured another dust storm blowing across Arabia (see upper right corner). Source: NASA

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Posted in africa dust storm, Arabian Peninsula, Sahara Desert, Sandstorm | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

The Mesopotamian Dust Bowl

Posted by feww on August 18, 2009

Image of the day: Another Dust Storm Over Iraq and Kuwait

Thick clouds of dust blew from the agricultural lands between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers in Iraq on August 15, 2009. The pale dust obscures most of Kuwait and culminates in a distinct plume over the Persian (Arabian) Gulf. One plume on the east side of the storm is darker than the rest of the airborne dust. This plume either comes from a different type of source—exposed agricultural soil instead of desert, perhaps—or it is a plume of smoke from a fire. Red dots mark where the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) detected fires, but in this case, a fire may be hidden from the sensor by the dust storm. Ongoing drought may be contributing to the frequent and severe dust storms Iraq has experienced in 2009.

The MODIS sensor flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image on August 15, 2009. Twice-daily images of Iraq and Kuwait are available from the MODIS Rapid Response System.  NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.

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Posted in desertification, Environmental Catastrophe, global climate change, soil erosion, World’s Collapsing Cities | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

How Taklamakan Desert Enriches Oceans

Posted by feww on July 21, 2009

A huge dust storm in China’s Taklamakan desert in 2007 generated dust clouds  that circled the globe more than once in just 13 days: Study

“Asian dust is usually deposited near the Yellow Sea, around the Japan area, while Sahara dust ends up around the Atlantic Ocean and coast of Africa,” said Itsushi Uno of Kyushu University’s Research Institute for Applied Mechanics.

Taklamakan by NASA World Wind . One of the largest sandy deserts in the world, Taklamakan covers an area of 270,000 km² (three quarters) of the Tarim Basin.

Astronaut Photography of Earth – Display Record – STS059-84-51

Taklamakan Dust Storm.

“But this study shows that China dust can be deposited into the (Pacific Ocean),” Reuters reported him as saying. “Dust clouds contain 5 percent iron, that is important for the ocean.”

“The most important achievement is that we tracked this through one full circuit round the globe, nobody has done this before. After half a circuit, usually the dust concentration gets very low and you can’t track it,” Uno told Reuters.

“This means that dust concentration, dust lifetime is very long, more than two weeks.”

The dust cloud envelope, measuring about 3 km high and 2,000 km long, retained its structure even after it had circled the globe once.

“The reason why the cloud structure was very well maintained was because the dust was uplifted … where the atmosphere is very stable,” Uno said.

Previously …

Dust storm over China’s Taklamakan Desert, on April 14, 2002, from the MODIS Instrument on NASA’s Terra Satellite.

Researches using an atmospheric computer model previously showed that dust from the TaklaMakan desert in China traveled more than 20,000 kilometers over two weeks landing on the French Alps. “Chinese dust plumes have been known to reach North America and even Greenland, but have never been reported before in Europe.” (Source).

A DUSTY PATH FROM CHINA TO FRANCE — The spiked line shows the dust’s 315 hour (13+ days) trip from the TaklaMakan desert in China, circling the world (counterclockwise) and landing in the French Alps on March 6, 1990. The black star is where scientists gathered samples.

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Posted in China dust cloud, cirrus clouds, coast of Africa, dust lifetime, iron-rich dust | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »