How important is it to dust

Biological particles such as viruses, bacteria or pollen are also part of the dust in our air. Soil dust, for example from the Sahara, which is carried around the world by air currents, forms a particularly large proportion. Fine dust is also produced in forest fires or other combustion processes. In recent years, for example, there have been repeated obstructions to air traffic because huge clouds of ash floated in the atmosphere as a result of volcanic eruptions.

No life without dust

But everyday dust also has important functions. Grains of dust break the sunlight and prevent it from burning down unhindered on the earth - an important prerequisite for the creation of life on our earth. In addition, a world without dust would also be a world without rain: every particle in the atmosphere serves as a nucleus for raindrops. It can only rain with the help of larger dust particles.

The larger desert dusts also carry valuable nutrients and minerals with them. These fertilize the sea in places that are kilometers away from the coast and thus support plankton growth. If this increases, it can filter more CO2 from the atmosphere and thus counteract the greenhouse effect. In addition, plankton forms the basis of the sea food chain. If dust could no longer carry valuable nutrients into the sea, it would have devastating consequences for life in the oceans - and thus also for us on the mainland.