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Sunday, September 7, 2008
~ Sunday, September 07, 2008 ~
African and Asian dust outbreaks

Dust from the Sahara moving around the southern periphery of the subtropical ridge moves into the Caribbean and Florida during the warm season as the ridge builds and moves northward through the subtropical Atlantic. Dust can also be attributed to a global transport from the Gobi and Taklamakan deserts across Korea, Japan, and the Northern Pacific to the Hawaiian Islands.[25] Since 1970, dust outbreaks have worsened due to periods of drought in Africa. There is a large variability in the dust transport to the Caribbean and Florida from year to year;[26] however, the flux of dust is greater during positive phases of the North Atlantic Oscillation.[27] Dust events have been linked to a decline in the health of coral reefs across the Caribbean and Florida, primarily since the 1970s.[28] Studies have shown that corals can incorporate dust into their skeletons as identified from dust from the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa in Indonesia in the annular bands of the reef-building coral Montastraea annularis from the Florida reef tract.[29] The relative abundance of chemical elements, particularly metals, has been used to distinguish soil derived from volcanic dust from mineral dust.[30]

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