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Dust Under The Radar: Rethinking How to Evaluate the Impacts of Dust Events on Air Quality in the United States
  • Karin Ardon-Dryer,
  • Katherine R Clifford,
  • Jenny L Hand
Karin Ardon-Dryer
Texas Tech University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Katherine R Clifford
University of Colorado
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Jenny L Hand
Colorado State University
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Dust is an important and complex constituent of the atmospheric system, having significant impacts on the environment, climate, air quality, and human health. Although dust events are common across many regions of the United States, their impacts are not often prioritized in air quality mitigation strategies. We argue that there are at least three factors that result in underestimation of the social and environmental impact of dust events, making them receive less attention. These include (1) sparse monitoring stations with irregular spatial distribution in dust-influenced regions, (2) inconsistency with dust sampling methods, and (3) sampling frequency and schedules, which can lead to missed dust events or underestimation of dust particle concentrations. Without addressing these three factors, it is challenging to characterize and understand the full air quality impacts of dust events in the United States. This paper highlights the need for additional monitoring to measure these events so that we can more fully evaluate and understand their impacts, as they are predicted to increase with climate change.
19 Sep 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
30 Sep 2023Published in ESS Open Archive