Dust plays a major role in several aspects of the Earth System. Dust transport delivers many of the nutrients to biota both on land and in ocean. Atmospheric dust can also impair human and electronic vision. In extreme dust storms, the airborne dust affects adversely to human activities such as transportation and human health.
Still, a full quantitative source-receptor relationship for transcontinental transport of dust is not in hand. Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory and Assessment System (SDS-WAS) had been formed in the WMO-AREP (Atmospheric Research and Environment Program). The establishment of the SDS-WAS project is a response to interest of more than 40 WMO members to improve capabilities for more reliable sand and dust storm forecasts.
There are two different SDS Centers within the WMO. One of them is located in Spain and the other is in China. The Spain Center is responsible for Europe, North Africa and Middle East (http://sds-was.aemet.es).
The 8-particles Dust REgional Atmospheric Model (BSC-DREAM8b) have been operated in the Turkish State Meteorological Service by using ECMWF initial and boundary data. BSC-DREAM8b is an integrated modeling system designed to describe accurate dust cycle in the atmosphere. The system is in operational use providing 72 hours forecasts for the Mediterranean region covering Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East. The results are available on the internet.
The 2nd Training Course on WMO SDS-WAS (satellite and ground observation and modelling of atmospheric dust) was held in Antalya, Turkey, 21-25 November 2011. The course had been organized and funded by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), EUMETSAT and the Turkish Meteorological Service (TSMS) with the collaboration of the Spanish State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS).