Interactions between Climate, Vegetation, and Mineral Aerosols

Team Member: Marc Pace Marcella    


From agriculture losses to air travel disruption, dust storms affect millions of people every year. Moreover, research has shown that mineral aerosols (dust) have a profound effect on global and regional climate dynamics. However, little is known about interactions between the surrounding natural vegetation and dust emissions.



Research Questions

  • How do mineral aerosols affect regional climates?
  • Do dust emissions affect the natural vegetation via these changes in local climate?
  • Or, does natural vegetation help curb further dust events, if so, what are the processes that lead to reduction in mineral aerosols?




Simulate climates of Southwest Asia and West Africa using a regional climate model.


Apply a dynamic vegetation model coupled to a dust emission and aerosol transport model to examine the effects of dust on regional vegetation and climate.


Analysis of remote sensing and ground observations of climate, dust, and vegetation in semi-arid regions.