[Coral-List] African Dust Troubles

kalai21 at earthlink.net kalai21 at earthlink.net
Wed Jul 27 08:13:34 EDT 2005

The dust is important for the plankton. The quest now is "Does a dust storm of this magnitude occur often?" If they have developed in the presence of dust, how much dust can they withstand?


-----Original Message-----
From: Craig Lilyestrom <craig at caribe.net>
Sent: Jul 26, 2005 1:29 PM
To: Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] African Dust Troubles

I've wondered what the impact of the dust from the Sahara has been  
for corals in the past.  This is not a recent phenomenon, as far as I  
am aware.  Corals in the Caribbean evolved in presence of this dust,  


Puerto Rico

On Jul 26, 2005, at 11:56 AM, Melissa Keyes wrote:

> Hello Listers.
> I've lived in the Caribbean most of my adult life, and believe me,  
> the African dust is very troublesome.
> Every island has allergy centers.  People have a lot of problems  
> with their breathing, sinusses and skin (rashes) from these  
> attacks.  I've read that the dust is full of chemicals, DDT being  
> one, and all sorts of 'microbes'.
> For the last few days we've had pinkish-gray skys here in the  
> Virgin Islands from the dust.  Mold counts are off the scale, but I  
> don't know if the mold comes from the dust.
> One theory is that the Elkhorn corals all died from something in  
> the dust.
> There is a coat of dust all over everything, you can swipe your  
> finger over your car and come up with a brown crust.  Not a kilo,  
> but a significant amount.  This accumulates in our cisterns, and  
> needs to be cleaned out occasionally.  One that I cleaned had a few  
> centimeters of reddish brown goo in the bottom.
> Cheers from Paradise,
> Melissa Keyes
> St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
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