Effect of Climate Change on Spring Massive Sand/Dust Storms in Iraq


  • Saadiyah H. Halos Atmosphere and Space Science Center, Directorate of Space Technology and Communication, Ministry of Science and Technology.
  • Salah Mahdi Atmosphere and Space Science Center, Directorate of Space Technology and Communication, Ministry of Science and Technology.




Dust Storm, Dust Surface Concentration, NMMB/BSC-Dust, Surface conditions.


Sand and Dust storms are considered a major natural disaster that cause many damages to society and environment in Iraq and surrounded deserted regions. Two spring sand/dust storms on May in two different years were synoptically analyzed. These sand/dust storms were compared in terms of dust surface concentration from NMMB/BSC-Dust model, sea level pressure, surface wind vector, satellite vegetation index and stations rainfall. The findings of this sand/dust storms comparison indicate that Iraq in spring may be affected by two types of wind one dust storm initiated by Shamal which have long occurred in this region and caused frequent dust storms in spring and second by Al-Khamsian. Dust storm in 2012 is massive than sand/dust storm in 2018 where the highest dust surface concentration is reached to (7700 μg/m3) in 22 May 2012 and about (3100 μg/m3) in 11 May 2018. Increase in vegetation cover over Iraq in 2018 was about 23% more than in 2012. Rainfall level in season (2017-2018) was higher than in rainfall season (2011-2012) in Iraqi dust sources regions. Low pressure gradient, less strong wind, rise in rainfall level and enhancement in vegetation cover are contributed to decrease the storm concentration of 2018 roughly by half.


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How to Cite

S. H. Halos and S. Mahdi, “Effect of Climate Change on Spring Massive Sand/Dust Storms in Iraq”, Al-Mustansiriyah Journal of Science, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 13–20, Nov. 2021, doi: 10.23851/mjs.v32i4.1105.

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