This year marks the 50th anniversary of the discovery of Sahara Dust in the atmosphere over Barbados, which helped this country to gain world-wide recognition as a leading site for atmospheric dust research.

To celebrate this important occasion, the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) will be hosting an international symposium on Friday, October 16, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at its Husbands, St. James campus. It is themed “Celebrating 50 Years of Sahara Dust Research on Barbados”.

CIMH Principal, Dr. David Farrell, said: ???Our hope is that the symposium will generate greater awareness of atmospheric and climate research in Barbados and lead to future research initiatives that broaden the current understanding of the effects of Sahara Dust on the human and environmental health of the region that will ultimately inform future public health and environmental policy locally, as well as global policies to combat climate change.???

Original scientists, Dr. Tony Delany of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, and Professor Joe Prospero of the University of Miami, will be on hand to discuss the original observations. The symposium will also feature renowned atmospheric scientists from the region and around the world who are researching Sahara Dust impacts on weather, climate, public health and public policy.

???The concentration of African dust in Barbados Trade Winds is often so high as to raise concerns about the impact on air quality and human health.??We need to understand how dust might impact health in Barbados and the Caribbean. We also need to anticipate how, with changing climate, concentrations of dust might change with time in the Caribbean region,??? Professor Prospero remarked.

Participating organisations include: NASA, the University of the West Indies, the University of Puerto Rico, the University of Miami, the University of Arizona, the University of Bristol (UK), and Germany???s Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research and Institute for Atmospheric Physics.

Following the symposium, CIMH will host an evening tour and reception at Ragged Point, St. Philip, beginning at 5:00 p.m. It will bring together atmospheric scientists and members of the surrounding community.

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