Ilam to host 2nd Intl. Conference on Dust

April 10, 2018

TEHRAN — The second edition of the International Conference on Dust will be held on April 25-27 in the city of Ilam, western Iran.

The conference is a platform for Iranian and foreign researchers to exchange experience, Bazgir highlighted. 

According to the International Conference on Dust official website Professor Johann P. Engelbrecht, Desert Research Institute (DRI), USA, Professor Enric Terradellas, Northern-Africa-Middle East-Europe Regional Center, WMO sand and sand storm warning advisory and Assessment system (SDS-WAS), Spain, Professor Victor R. Squires International Dryland Management Consultant, Adelaide, Australia, Professor Yiming Feng, Institute of Desertification Studies, Chinese Academy Forestry (CAF), China, and Dr. Arash Sharifi Neptune Isotope Laboratory (NIL), Department of Marine Geosciences, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), University of Miami, are some of the speakers who will deliver speeches at the event. 

Sand and dust storms 

In the Global Assessment of Sand And Dust Storms (SDS) by United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, United Nations Environment Program as well as World Meteorological Organization, the SDS phenomenon is defined as being the result of surface winds raising large quantities of dust into the air and reducing visibility at eye level (1.8 meters above ground) and, in terms of distance visible, to fewer than 1,000 meters distance.

The same assessment indicates that large sand and dust storms, resulting from a combination of strong winds and loose dry soil surfaces in arid and semi-arid areas, are detrimental to human health, agricultural land, infrastructure, and transport. It is estimated that each year approximately 2,000 million tons of dust is emitted into the atmosphere. While much of this is a natural part of the biochemical cycles of the earth, a significant percentage is generated by human-induced factors.

Unsustainable land and water management are among the primary human-induced elements affecting SDS. Human-induced dust emissions occur mainly (85%) as a result of the management of hydraulic sources (ephemeral water bodies). But land degradation also contributes to climate change through production of greenhouse gases, changes in surface energy balances and direct contributions of dust to the atmosphere.

Moreover climate change is also considered as an important potential driver of future wind erosion and SDS risk, especially the occurrence of more extreme wind events and the overall trend, in some regions, towards drier climates. 

Given the dominance of natural sources of dust and uncertainty regarding future dust emissions, the report stresses the importance of protective measures, which comprise enhancing monitoring, prediction and early warning systems, and improving preparedness and emergency response.

To reduce anthropogenic sources of sand and dust storms, the Assessment recommends integrated strategies that promote sustainable land and water management in cropland, rangelands, deserts and urban areas, and climate change mitigation.

MQ/MG

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