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10 May 2017

Research finds spike in dust storms in American Southwest driven by ocean changes

People living in the American Southwest have experienced a dramatic increase in windblown dust storms in the last two decades, likely driven by large-scale changes in sea surface temperature in the Pacific Ocean drying the region’s soil, according to new NOAA-led research. With the increase in dust storms, scientists have also documented a spike in Valley fever, an infectious disease caught by inhaling a soil-dwelling fungus found primarily in the Southwest.

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