In its mission as a world leader in weather, climate, water and related environmental issues, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) contributes to the safety and well-being of people throughout the world, and to the societal and economic benefit of all nations. Sand and dust storms (SDS) are recognized by WMO as serious events that can affect climate, weather, environment and health in many parts of the world. https://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/arep/wwrp/new/SDS_WAS_background.html
Suspended sand and dust generates semi-permanent patterns of local and regional scales that persist in the atmosphere for several days. Moreover dust can be transported downwind affecting regions hundreds to thousands of kilometers away. The distance of transport is mainly depending on the meteorological conditions in the free atmosphere.
Although it is not usually considered, dust plays an important role in our everyday life affecting e.g. human and veterinary health (asthma, infections, Meningitis in Africa, Valley fever in America). Furthermore dust aerosols have numerous impacts on environment, agriculture, marine ecosystems (productivity), fisheries, transport in dusty regions, visibility, aviation (air disasters) and weather and climate at larger scales. Once in the atmosphere the particles interact with solar and thermal radiation and clouds, having an impact on the Earth radiation balance and thus influencing the Earth’s weather and climate.