@UCSD: An Alumni Publication

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Campus Currents: UCSD Stories
Shelf Life: Books
Cliff Notes: Student life and sports
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Campaign Update: Imagine the Future
Looking Back: Thoughts on UCSD
Credits: Staff and Contributors

Cutting Edge
Front Page
Shooting the Moon
All the Worlds a Stage
On The Job:
Lost in Hollywood
Sit Down & Be Funny

Making Waves
Whale of a Song
Asian Ill Wind
Tritons in Transylvania
Top-Ten Preuss
Cell-Phone Squirrel
Journey to the Copper Age

Features May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

Asian Ill Wind


Apparently Asia is exporting more than consumer goods to our welcoming shores. Every spring, huge plumes of dust and soot are kicked up in Asia and blown across the Pacific Ocean to the West Coast.

In an attempt to find out the extent of the pollution problem, a team from UCSD's Scripps Institution of Oceanography is tracking the annual event. Led by V. Ramanathan, a professor of atmospheric chemistry, the team joined the National Center for Atmospheric Research to conduct the Pacific Dust Experiment (PACDEX) in May. A specially modified jet flew several data-gathering flights through the giant plumes as they drifted over the ocean.

Ramanathan's group reported in the Journal of Geophysical Research that more than three-quarters of the soot and other forms of black carbon circulating in the stratosphere above the West comes from Asia during spring. His team is now looking at "dirty" snow collected in the Sierra Nevada to see how much of the long-distance pollution makes the mountains of California its final resting place.

Contributors to Making Waves: Mario Aguilera, '89, Rex Graham, Raymond Hardie, Robert Monroe, Neda Oreizy, '08, Doug Ramsey


ScrippsNews Home

PACDEX Media Advisory

Pacific Dust Experiment


"You can't wait for the world to change. You have to direct that change. Make a world that your children will be proud to inhabit."

--James Avery, Third/Marshall '76, at Thurgood Marshall College's June 16 graduation ceremony