Blowing in the wind
Answers to why dust storms are on the rise in East Asia. Over the past two decades there has been an increase in the outbreak of dust storms over East Asia. Large quantities of dust particles suspended in the air not only block the amount of sunlight reaching the earth, they also cause respiratory and visual complications. Dust storms are attributed to two factors. First erodibility—susceptibility of soil to wind erosion and second erosivity—ability of wind to cause erosion. While erosivity depends on wind speed, erodibility depends on a number of factors like distribution of soil particles, water content, precipitation, vegetation, snow cover and land use apart from wind speed. But little data is available on these factors, making it difficult to identify the reasons behind the increase in the dust storms.
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