Hurricanes, Sea Salt, Dust, and Smoke

Caitlin Dempsey


This visualization from the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center shows how particles flow around the Earth’s atmosphere.  Created with the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS),
a family of mathematical models, and processed on the Discover supercomputer, the visualization shows how smoke, dust, and sea salt swirl across the globe.

Smoke from the fires in the Pacific Northwest is blown all the way across the Unite States and over to Europe. Dust from the Sahara Desert is pulled along with hurricanes forming off the African coast. The hurricanes lift sea salt into the atmosphere and become part of these powerful storms. Ophelia becomes the strongest hurricane to form east of the United States as it makes its way towards Ireland.  The visualization is a fascinating look at how smoke and dust can
make their way around the world.

YouTube video

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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.