Impacts of Sand storms/Dust storms on Agriculture (M. V.K. Sivakumar) Chapter Natural Disasters and Extreme Events in Agriculture pp 159-177.
The drylands of the world are affected by moderate to severe land degradation from wind erosion and there is evidence that the frequency of sand storms/dust storms in increasing. Human induced change is by far the most significant factor in the alarming increase of sand storms in some regions. The definition of sand storms and dust storms were presented and the classifications currently in use were discussed. The occurrence of wind erosion at any place is a function of weather events interacting with soil and land management through its effects on soil structure, tilth and vegetation cover. The mechanics of sand and dust storms and their spatial and temporal distribution was described. The impacts of sand and dust storms were described in terms of crop damage, soil productivity losses, economic losses, mass migration, health impacts, and impacts on climate. Not all the impacts are negative and the positive impacts of sand and dust storms were described.