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Biological soil crusts play a key role in current and future global dust cycling

This study shows that by stabilizing the soil, biological soil crusts reduce global atmospheric dust emissions by 60%, corresponding to ~700 Tg of dust per year. According to models of biocrust cover loss, this effect will be reduced in the future, leading to increases in not only dust emissions but also global radiative cooling.

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Fig. 1: Current and predicted effects of biocrusts on global annual dust cycling.

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This is a summary of: Rodriguez-Caballero, E. et al. Global cycling and climate effects of aeolian dust controlled by biological soil crusts. Nat. Geosci. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-022-00942-1 (2022).

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Biological soil crusts play a key role in current and future global dust cycling. Nat. Geosci. 15, 432–433 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-022-00943-0

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