When we talk about dust as an aerosol in the atmosphere, we don’t mean stuff like the dust bunnies under your bed, but instead very fine grain sediments that can be picked up by the wind and carried long distances. Dust grains are much smaller than sand, which allows them to stay in the atmosphere up to weeks in time. With that much time to be carried by the winds, dust travels all around the globe.
There are drylands on every continent that produce dust, making it the most abundant aerosol in the atmosphere. Once there it has many impacts on climate, weather, health, and biology. As an atmospheric scientist, I enjoy studying the role of dust in the climate system because it brings together many disparate fields, including hydrology, ecology, and public health.