Dust from the Gobi Desert clouds Owens Valley

gobidesertWhy has our air looked so hazy since last Friday? It was made in China, you might say, and blown across the globe to California.

Hard to believe, but Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District Director Ted Schade confirmed it. NASA documented by satellite the Gobi Desert phenomenon. Schade said that in the Spring sometimes a really fast jet stream moves over Asia, to the north and over to Alaska. Then it blows right down over California. What many here thought must be smoke from a fire is, in fact, dust from Asia.

Great Basin’s Air Blog said, “Long-range transport from a massive dust event last week in the Gobi Desert has followed atmospheric streamlines to arrive in the Owens Valley today.” That was on Friday. NASA’s article on this event said dust from the Gobi Desert blew across the coastal plain of eastern China. Beijing has experienced two dust events in March.

Ted Schade said this kind of event happens once every couple of years. He said the jet stream creates a kind of blanket effect in California from the dust on the other side of the world.

The Gobi Desert is considered the fifth largest desert in the world and the largest in Asia. It covers 500,000 square miles.

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Jeremiah's ego
Jeremiah's ego
8 years ago

Yeah we can blame China for burning so much coal, but they are only catching up and taking the lead to the trend we started.
It’s too bad the legalized bribery that goes on systematically in our country is keeping the American People down from setting the trends (Green Energy) that reflect we do care about the generations after us.

Mike Prather, Lone Pine
Mike Prather, Lone Pine
8 years ago

UCSD/Scripps was part of a paper just published in Science showing dust and microbials from Africa as well as Asia.

http://atofms.ucsd.edu

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2013/02/27/science.1227279.abstract

Tim
Tim
8 years ago

Mike, I thought it was telling that California Energy Commission did a study proving the earth cooling effects of irrigation in the San Joaquin valley, yet the potential cooling effects of a full Owens Lake are ignored and even disputed at times.

http://ateson.com/ws/r/www.pnas.org/content/104/34/13582.full

http://www.energy.ca.gov/pier/project_reports/CEC-500-2006-031.html

http://faculty.ucmerced.edu/lkueppers/publications.html

You’ll notice that cooler summertime temperatures are recorded. What implication does this have toward increased snowpack and the reduction of regional warming due to displacement of water bodies?

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
8 years ago

Assuming that LADWP had done it again was not too smart or logical on my part. The drive back to Bishop from Lost Angeles is usually better and better with each mile north but Friday was an exception.
The winds were not blowing and the Owens Dry Lake was calm. There was the newly prescribed burn north of Indy and the haze seemed to thicken to the north. I was wondering hard how the LADWP could allow and cause such pollution. Now I’m wondering how to temper my own distrust and anger and not get caught up in the blame game that I play oh so easily. Meanwhile what’s stopping DWP with the Great Basin APCD from figuring out what they need to do to go forward with fixing up the Owens Lake project?

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

Money.
BK

Marie Boyd
Marie Boyd
8 years ago

Well Benett – everything else is made in China, why not the haze?

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago

Made in China ??…..Uh-oh……Some are gonna blame President Obama for it…..

Tim
Tim
8 years ago

Does this mean that air polution or a nuclear disaster in China could also blanket California in fallout courtesy of the jet stream? How will this impact the EPA stove upgrade program or antique can and bottle collection enforcement by BLM?

Tim
Tim
8 years ago
Reply to  Tim

C’mon you guys, that stuff I said is cynical and sarcastic, where’s your valley spirit? Where is your sense of humor?
Truth be known, I really like the article, it clearly implies that our problems (Shooting area trash, bottle collectors, stove upgrades), while significant, can easily be shadowed by global concerns. From my understanding China is a huge unbridled polluter; doesn’t it stand to reason that if the jet stream carries visible particulate matter around the globe that it could just as easily carry other types of pollution? Manufacturing such as foundry and metals fabrication and chemical or plastics processing can be huge toxic air polluters. What about China’s nuclear plants? As of 2012, the People’s Republic of China has 16 nuclear power reactors spread out over 4 separate sites and 26 under construction!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_China
Nuclear disasters caused by earthquake across the globe that effect California do happen.
http://www.enviroreporter.com/
So what to do? Shoot at trash, ride ole Sarah the mule, get a free stove, leave some ole’ trash in the desert for ambiance. These are probably not bad ideas, all we have is today. Enjoy it.
In the end I am afraid the score will be human progress (0), mother nature (1).

communicating electronically
communicating electronically
8 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Tim,
What I’ve found to be useful in email correspondence is to indicate somehow that the comment was cynical and/or sarcastic:

; > wink

Otherwise, everythink resembles the Tower of Babel story and/or The Rush Limbaugh Show

Tim ; > wink
Tim ; > wink
8 years ago

Sounds good.

Jeremiah's ego
Jeremiah's ego
8 years ago
Reply to  Tim ; > wink

Sarcasm is hard to pinpoint in text, also depending on the readers state of mind at the time the text might not be perceived as sarcasm, and most of the time the reaction to that mis-interpretative punch line is of course associated with the act of “Foaming At The Mouth”. LOL