Special Issue "Sand and Dust Storms’ Environmental and Ecosystem Impacts"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Biosphere/Hydrosphere/Land–Atmosphere Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2022) | Viewed by 1774

Special Issue Editors

Department of Remote Sensing and GIS, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran 14178-53933, Iran
Interests: applied geoinformatics for climate-related changes modeling of the earth; spatial-temporal analysis of climate change; water issues; agriculture; land degradation; drought; air pollution and dust storms
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
School of Life Sciences, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, NSW 2007, Australia
Interests: biophysical remote sensing; terrestrial ecohydrology; land surface phenology; carbon and water fluxes; geostationary and low earth observations; time series analyses; climate change impacts; vegetation health and ecosystem resilience; ecological forecasting
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Desert and Arid Zones Management, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran
Interests: wind erosion; sand and dust storms; remote sensing and GIS; combat desertification
Dr. Najmeh Neysani Samany
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Remote Sensing and GIS, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Interests: geographical information system; environmental health modeling, geo-AI

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nowadays, sand and dust storms (SDS) are considered a global issue across a wide range of environmental conditions and research disciplines. Over the last three decades, the frequency and severity of SDS have intensified in many catchments across arid and semi-arid regions of the world, due to anthropogenic activities such as climate change, land use/land cover change, and natural factors such as periodic droughts. This phenomenon has many effects on the biotic and abiotic components of Earth's ecosystems. A comprehensive literature review conducted by our editors revealed major knowledge gaps on the subject of SDS impacts on the environment and ecosystems, as well as their analyses. Accordingly, this Special Issue (SI) aims to provide a comprehensive scientific basis for modeling, monitoring, and evaluating the effects of SDS on various components of the Earth’s systems (hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere).  In the framework of this Special Issue, entitled “Sand and Dust Storms’ Environmental and Ecosystem Impacts”, we seek contributions that provide a comprehensive scientific basis to better enable adaptation policies, mitigation plans, and management strategies, as well as to facilitate the sustainable development of ecosystems. More specifically, the focus of the Special Issue is to cover the impacts/effects of SDS on the various dimensions of natural and human-managed environments and ecosystems, including:

  • Interactions of SDS and climate change;
  • Investigations of the role of land use/land cover change and SDS;
  • Interactions and impacts of SDS on plants/vegetation;
  • The biomass productivity and agriculture under the stress of SDS;
  • The detection, monitoring and forecasting of SDS, including early warnings;
  • Spatial-temporal modeling of SDS issues by Geo-AI, machine learning, and remote sensing;
  • SDS impacts on:
  • Water resources (lakes, wetlands, dam reservoirs, etc.);
  • Atmospheric parameters (cloud formation, precipitation, temperature, evapotranspiration, radiative forcing, etc.);
  • Soil and its microorganisms;
  • Biogeochemical cycles in water and soil;
  • Vegetation (forest, rangelands, and agriculture);
  • Human societies and other living organisms;
  • Ecosystem productivity.

We welcome the submission of original research papers, reviews, and methods, including (but not limited to) research on all aspects of the above-mentioned topics.

Dr. Ali Darvishi Boloorani
Prof. Dr. Alfredo Huete
Prof. Dr. Alireza Rashki
Dr. Najmeh Neysani Samany
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Atmosphere is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • sand and dust storms
  • environment and ecology
  • soil and agriculture
  • forest and rangelands
  • water resources
  • ecosystem health
  • socio-economic issues of SDS
  • human health impacts of SDS
  • weather and climate
  • Geo-AI and machine learning
  • Remote sensing and GIS
  • spatial and temporal pattern analysis
  • vulnerability and risk analysis
  • mitigation measures
  • adaptation policies

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Aerosols as Vectors for Contaminants: A Perspective Based on Outdoor Aerosol Data from Kuwait
Atmosphere 2023, 14(3), 470; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14030470 - 27 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1121
The Middle East is a hot spot of dust, and there are reports of as much as 1400 µg m−3 of dust in aerosols from Kuwait, which is among some of the highest dust loadings globally. A significant volume of literature has [...] Read more.
The Middle East is a hot spot of dust, and there are reports of as much as 1400 µg m−3 of dust in aerosols from Kuwait, which is among some of the highest dust loadings globally. A significant volume of literature has emerged on dust–air-quality–human-health, and the World Health Organization in its recent air quality guidelines has lowered the limit of annual PM2.5 exposure to 5 μg m−3 from the previous limit of 10 μg m−3. We present a mini-review based on a screening and search of the published data generated in Kuwait on contaminants associated with dust in different size fractions. We also include an unpublished study on organic contaminants in size-fractionated aerosols. The ΣPAHs concentrations in all the six size fractions range between 570 and 3350 pg m−3. The ∑PBDE concentration ranges from ~2 to 1307 pg m−3. The average 210Po activity in aerosol size classes varies between 2289 and 2581 Bq kg−1. The average 210Pb concentration varies between 352 and 412 Bq kg−1. The MP inventory in Kuwait’s outdoor aerosol is between 5 and 35 MP in 815 ± 5 m3 of air. The bacterial load in outdoor aerosols is between 6.05 × 103 cells m−3 and 1.24 × 108 cells m−3. The fungal load ranges between 2.11 × 102 cells m−3 and 2.66 × 106 cells m−3. The data suggest that the inhalable fraction of <2.5 µm size contains high concentrations of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), 210Po, 210Pb, microplastics, and microbes. These enriched ultrafine aerosols pose a significant risk to human health. The review also highlights the scarcity of contaminant data in respirable and inhalable size fractions that are critical for a comprehensive inhalation risk assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sand and Dust Storms’ Environmental and Ecosystem Impacts)
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