Dust storms are a common occurrence in Afghanistan, where during the summer residents endure as much as six days a month of blowing dust. Here we see a massive cloud of dust swirling through the country on Dec. 20, 2011, as imaged by the MODIS instrument onboard the Terra satellite.
While such events are more common in other parts of the globe, the U.S. is starting to consider the impact of dust. As dust storms increase in the West, experts are looking for a solution. Jayne Belnap, a U.S. Geological Survey research ecologist in Moab, Utah, told the New York Times, "We do not manage for dust. We don't even think about it. [But] I think the time is coming where we are going to have to decide we need to think about dust."