NEWS: I’m looking to hire a postdoc to study land-atmosphere interactions with me, especially those involving dust. The specific projects to be worked on will be tailored to the individual, so if you’re a recent- or soon-to-be PhD interested in how dust in the atmosphere affects rainfall, alters regional climate, or interacts with biogeochemistry, you can both find all the details and apply here: https://www.ubjobs.buffalo.edu/postings/20874
Dust is an important component of the climate system as it has to the ability to alter precipitation patterns and surface temperature, is a key nutrient supply for much of the biosphere, and provides records of paleoclimate. Dust also matters in human environments, where it is a hazard to both health and transportation.
My current research uses both global climate models and satellite observations to study the effects of dust on the climate of north Africa and the Sahel region in particular. By absorbing and scattering incoming sunlight, dust alters the energy balance of the atmosphere and reduces the rainfall the region receives, reducing plant growth and exacerbating droughts. I am also interested in how the loss of rainfall can create a feedback loop between increasing desertification and increasing dust.