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Dernière mise à jour : le 19/05/2022 à 10:20

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A dust cloud kicked up from a windstorm in the Gobi Desert in early April has made its hazy way all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. After obscuring the skies of the Western United States on Easter, then the Great Lakes region last week, the yellowish dust has been spotted by satellites over the North Atlantic, and perhaps also the Mid-Atlantic States.

The windstorm that created the dust cloud is called the Kosa, or "Yellow Wind," by the Japanese who are subjected to the troublesome dust every spring. Only the most powerful Kosa events kick up dust that continues east across the Pacific Ocean, says Douglas Westphal, meteorologist with the US Naval Research Laboratory in Monterey, California.

In the last few years new satellites that detect dust, also called aerosols, have enabled scientists to tract such global dust clouds, making them less mysterious, but more troublesome: the Kosa isn't only made up of Gobi dust, but also Chinese pollution.

Seen from the ground in the United States, the fine dust was no longer yellow in color, but white. In the Western part of the country, it reduced visibility to a few miles and was often mistaken for smoke.

Source : NOAA

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