A new analysis of data from satellite has revealed a link between dust in North Africa and West Asia and stronger monsoons in India.
The Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar, India, and their coauthors wanted to explore a correlation that appeared in satellite records i.e higher amounts of small particles called aerosols over North Africa, West Asia, and the Arabian Sea sand their connection to stronger rainfall over India around the same time. The team wanted to see if they could verify this and determine how those particles might affect rainfall.
To explore the connection, the team used a computer model called CAM5 and focused on the area. The model included manmade aerosols from pollution, and natural sea salt and dust.
Their likeliest possibility focuses on the fact that dust can actually absorb sunlight that would normally reach the surface, warming the air instead. This warmer dust-laden air draws moist air from the tropics northward, and strengthens the prevailing winds that move moisture from the Arabian Sea into India, where it falls as rain.
The study has been published in the journal Nature Geoscience.