Climate Models Miss Effects of Wind-Shattered Dust Clumps of dust in the desert shatter like glass on a kitchen floor. This similarity may mean the atmosphere carries more large dust particles than climate models assume. Dust and other airborne particles effect in the atmosphere is one of the most important problems we need to solve in order to provide better predictions of climate, said climate scientist Jasper Kok of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. Other researchers suspect current models also neglect a large fraction of the climate-warming dust that clogs the skies after dust storms. Most climate models use dust data from satellites that measure how many particles of different sizes are suspended in the atmosphere. These measurements reveal an abundance of tiny clay particles roughly 2 micrometers across (about one-third the width of a red blood cell), which can reflect sunlight back into space and cool the planet. But satellites may be missing larger particles, called silts, which dont hang around in the air as long. Silts up to 20 micrometers in diameter can act as a warm blanket to trap heat inside the Earths atmosphere. -- Koks theory suggests that dust storms produce two to eight times more silt-sized particles than climatologists previously thought. Neglecting the boost in particles suggests that climate models, and even short-term weather models for dusty regions, are somewhat off. Until climate scientists better understand how dust changes over time, however, Kok said its tough to gauge the effects. Anyone pointing to the models as "proof" of AGW needs to realize how imperfect the models are...simply because what they're modeling is far more complex than we know. Maybe than we can know.