Keeping track of the dirt

A gigantic dust storm that fouled skies from the Gobi Desert to the Canary Islands in April 2000 helped an international team of scientists discover that Asian air pollution infiltrates North America while feeding fish along the way. The scientists found that toxic metals and other man-made pollutants hitch rides on the desert dust, making the plumes an effective long-distance pollution transport system (, December 13, 2001).