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Sand and dust storm events in Iraq

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DOI: 10.4236/ns.2013.510133    7,825 Downloads   12,463 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Iraq is one of the most affected countries in the Middle East concerning the occurrences of sand and dust storms. The frequency of the occurrence has increased drastically in the last decade and it is increasing continuously. The events of sand and dust storms are either regional or local. The former, however, is more frequent than the latter. The regional event, generally extends outside the Iraqi territory, into different directions, but usually covers part of Syria, crossing the Iraqi territory towards Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and/or towards the Arabian Gulf, and less frequently extends to Iran. The main causes in the development of sand and dust storms, in Iraq are discussed. The causes are also either regional or local. The former, however, causes more economic losses and harsh effect on the human’s health, as compared with the latter. One of the main reasons behind the development of sand and dust storms is the climatic changes within the region, especially the drastic decrease in the annual rate of rain fall, besides environmental changes, such as drying of the marshes, land degradation, and desertification. From the local causes, the most effective reason is the haphazard driving and military operations, especially in the Iraqi Southern Desert. Prudent management of water resources by using non-conventional resources and adapting suitable irrigation methods can greatly help to overcome this phenomenon and minimize the number of dust storm.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Sissakian, V. , Al-Ansari, N. and Knutsson, S. (2013) Sand and dust storm events in Iraq. Natural Science, 5, 1084-1094. doi: 10.4236/ns.2013.510133.

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