NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Deciphering the Role of Desert Dust in the Climate Puzzle: The Mediterranean Israeli Dust Experiment (MEIDEX)Numerous studies have shown that aerosol particles may be one of the primary agents that can offset the climate warming induced by the increase in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases. Desert aerosols are probably the most abundant and massive type of aerosol particles that are present in the atmosphere worldwide. These aerosols are carried over large distances and have various global impacts. They interact with clouds, impact the efficiency of their rain production and change their optical properties. They constitute one of the primary sources of minerals for oceanic life and influence the health of coral reefs. They have direct effects on human health, especially by inducing breathing difficulties in children. It was lately discovered that desert particles carry pathogens from the Sahara desert over the Atlantic Ocean, a fact that may explain the migration of certain types of diseases. Aerosols not only absorb solar radiation but also scatter it, so that their climatic effect is influenced not only by their physical properties and height distribution but also by the reflectivity of the underlying surface. This latter property changes greatly over land and is low over ocean surfaces. Aerosol plumes are emitted from discrete, sporadic sources in the desert areas of the world and are transported worldwide by the atmosphere's wind systems. For example, Saharan dust reaches Mexico City, Florida, Ireland, Switzerland and the Mediterranean region, while Asian dust reaches Alaska, Hawaii and the continental United States. This means that in order to assess its global effects, one must observe dust from space. The Space Shuttle is a unique platform, because it flies over the major deserts of our planet, enabling measurements and remote sensing of the aerosols as they travel from source to sink regions. Such efforts must always be accompanied by in-situ data for validation and calibration, with direct sampling of the airborne particles. MEIDEX is a joint project of the Israel Space Agency (ISA) and NASA, under a cooperation agreement between the two agencies.
Document ID
Document Type
Other - NASA Publication (NP)
Levin, Zev (Tel-Aviv Univ., Ramat-Aviv Tel-Aviv, Israel)
Joseph, Joachim (Tel-Aviv Univ., Ramat-Aviv Tel-Aviv, Israel)
Mekler, Yuri (Tel-Aviv Univ., Ramat-Aviv Tel-Aviv, Israel)
Israelevich, Peter (Tel-Aviv Univ., Ramat-Aviv Tel-Aviv, Israel)
Ganor, Eli (Tel-Aviv Univ., Ramat-Aviv Tel-Aviv, Israel)
Hilsenrath, Ernest (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Janz, Scott (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
December 16, 2002
Publication Information
Publication: STS 107 Shuttle Press Kit: Providing 24/7 Space Science Research
Subject Category
Environment Pollution
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.83:5-289-HQ
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

Related Records

IDRelationTitle20030011376Analytic PrimarySTS 107 Shuttle Press Kit: Providing 24/7 Space Science Research
Document Inquiry