Sahara’s ‘Godzilla’ dust storm may have been triggered by warming in the Arctic

An enormous dust cloud dubbed “Godzilla” that surged over the Sahara Desert in June and then blew toward the U.S. may have reached its record-breaking size and density due to warming in the Arctic. 

Unusual wind patterns near the coast of western Africa whipped the Sahara storm to its gargantuan size, and could have been caused by reduced sea ice and rising ocean temperatures, according to research presented on Monday (Dec. 7) at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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