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Now it’s dust storms that are caused by “climate change”

Anthony Watts
Watts Up With That? [1]
Thursday, July 7, 2011

When I first saw this photo in news stories today, my first thought was “how long before somebody idiotically links this to global warming aka climate change aka climate disruption” (take your pick)?

Dust storm hits Phoenix, July 5th, 2011 – click image for source

The answer, not long. From The Atlantic [3] we have this pronouncement:

Environmentalists remind us [4] that the conditions that create dust storms can be linked to climate change and poor farming practices. Today, the Earth is twice as dusty as it was in the 19th-century. At least we have YouTube and Twitpic to document the incredibly terrifying consequences?

Here’s some spectacular video of what is called a Haboob [5] in progress yesterday. I find it more interesting than “terrifying”:

The Phoenix Haboob of July 5th, 2011 [6] from Mike Olbinski [7] on Vimeo [8].

I had to laugh when I saw the title of this one.

Doomsday? Really? Dust storms might be an annoyance, and may shut down things we take for granted like air travel and sometimes road travel, but they hardly equate to doomsday. I’ll save that for when the sun goes nova or some crazy political/zealot faction starts setting off nukes.

Seems that dust storms in desert cities aren’t that uncommon, such as this one in Phoenix in 2003:

File:Haboob2.jpg [9]
Haboob blowing into Ahwatukee, Phoenix, Arizona on 22 August 2003. Image from Wikipedia

And more examples:

Monsoon Storm PhotoDust Storm Rises Over Phoenix on Labor Day, 1972. No Rain Had Fallen in the Area for 153 Days , 06/1972. Dust Storm Picture from Environmental Protection Agency.

From Wikipedia, notable dust storms [10]

Dec 1, 1982 – High winds kicked up dust storms from near the California border, to Gila Bend, south of Phoenix. minutes,” said Keith the state’s chief National Weather Service The San Diego Zoo was closed Tuesday for the fifth time in its 66- year history after wind blew down eucalyptus trees.
From Mean Storm Hits Calif., Moves East . [11]

Aug 20, 1999 – A large dust storm moves into the downtown Phoenix area causing 90-minute flight delays at the Sky Harbor International Airport. Wind gusts of up to 45 mph hampered visibility as the dust storm swept through the metro area from the southern portions of Arizona.
From Phoenix gets down and dirty in big dust storm | Deseret News [12]