A sandstorm hits the northern Iraqi city of Mosul with local landmarks such as the Al-Nuri mosque and the Mosul Bridge shrouded in dust.
Last year, Iraq experienced more than a dozen sandstorms, an unprecedented number that was attributed to desertification.
Sand And Dust Storms Are Common Meteorological Hazards In Arid And Semi-Arid Regions.
They are usually caused by thunderstorms – or strong pressure gradients associated with cyclones – which increase wind speed over a wide area.
These strong winds lift large amounts of sand and dust from bare, dry soils into the atmosphere, transporting them hundreds to thousands of kilometres away.
The Main Sources Of These Mineral Dusts Are The Arid Regions Of Northern Africa, The Arabian Peninsula, Central Asia And China.
Comparatively, Australia, America and South Africa make minor, but still important, contributions.