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Sand and dust storms (SDS): A transboundary issue of growing concern

21 June 2022

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Photo by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


Sand and dust storms are complex environmental phenomena, the result of a series of interlinked natural and anthropogenic drivers opera- ting at different scales. They have gained growing attention in the past decade due to their impacts on the environment and a range of socioeconomic sectors. SDS result in land degradation and production losses on croplands and rangelands. Transport is disrupted by reduced visibility and sand deposits that block roads. There are numerous impacts on health – for people, plants and animals – and dust deposited on solar panels results in less electricity being produced. Economic losses from a single SDS event can cost hundreds of millions of US dollars.

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