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This week from AGU: Global food trade, weather forecasting, aerosol transport

American Geophysical Union

From AGU's blogs: Global food trade may not meet all future demand, new study indicates

As the world population continues to grow, by about 1 billion people every 12 to 14 years since the 1960s, the global food supply may not meet escalating demand - particularly for agriculturally poor countries in arid to semi-arid regions, such as Africa's Sahel, that already depend on imports for much of their food supply, according to a new study published online in the American Geophysical Union journal, Earth's Future.

From this week's Eos: Next-Generation Forecasting of High-Impact Weather

Despite advances in predicting hazardous weather, the underlying methodologies used to generate severe weather watches and warnings have changed little over the past several decades. Now, researchers are proposing a new concept called Forecasting a Continuum of Environmental Threats (FACETs), which aims to enhance weather forecasting with high-resolution probabilistic hazard information.

From AGU's journals: Europe supplies substantial aerosol phosphorus to the Mediterranean

Biologically unproductive ocean regions depend on the wind to transport necessary nutrients, such as phosphorus, from the land. In the Mediterranean Sea, winds from Europe and North Africa bring phosphorus-laden dust particles and aerosols to remote waters. Previous research assumed that North Africa is the primary source of these particles because large Saharan dust storms create red rain events across in the Mediterranean, making them an obvious source of nutrients.

Longo et al. set out to verify this assumption. The authors collected aerosols in a remote region in Greece, originating from both North Africa and Europe, to analyze their phosphorus content. The authors find that European aerosols contain on average 3.5 times more soluble phosphorus than North African aerosols.

Further, the authors note that as anthropogenic climate forcing shifts wind patterns, Europe may become an even more significant contributor of phosphorus, thus promoting a more biologically productive Mediterranean Sea. This increase in biological activity could, in turn, affect local ecosystems and climate.

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