Mineral dust is one of the most important aerosol types in terms of mass and optical depth. It affects radiation and alters liquid and ice cloud properties, modifying also their lifetimes, as well as precipitation processes. Once dust particles are deposited at the surface, they provide micro nutrients to the ocean or to land ecosystems, affecting fishery and agriculture activities respectively. Moreover, the smaller PM2.5 particles are easily inhaled and deposited on the lungs and are related to human health disorders. For these reasons the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) identifies mineral dust and the associated uncertainties in climate projections as key topics for future research. Desert dust is always present in North Africa, Middle East and the Mediterranean with adverse effects in various scientific and societal sectors including climate change, weather conditions, health, aviation, energy and tourism. Thus, continuous monitoring and forecasting of dust transfer in the area is necessary for assisting policy makers for natural hazards and climate change mitigation activities.
MAIN OBJECTIVES & OUTCOMES
The main objective of DUSTHUB-BEYOND is to provide timely forecasts of dust events along with their spatiotemporal and quantitative properties to the local authorities and the public. The forecasting service is provided daily with a forecasting horizon of 3 days ahead. DUSTHUB products include the aerosol optical depth of dust, concentrations of dust at the surface as well as dry and wet depositions.
The forecasts are provided by DREAM-NMM model. The meteorological core is the NCEP Nonhydrostatic Mesoscale Model on E-grid (NCEP/NMME). Surface properties are defined using the USGS global 1-km land cover data and the USDA global 1-km soil. The model is configured at 0.2°×0.2° resolution and includes 8 dust size bins with effective radii of 0.15, 0.25 0.45, 0.78, 1.3, 2.2, 3.8 and 7.1 μm respectively. Detailed forecasting products are also available in the frame of experimental campaigns and the GEO-CRADLE portal.
Figure1. Example of AOD, surface concentration, dry and wet depositions of dust from DUSTHUB-BEYOND.