China, 08 April 2007: The new image captured by MODIS on the Aqua satellite on March 31, 2007, shows a large dust storm blowing over China. It appears to be originating from the Gobi Desert in north central China. The country borders are visible in the image and it makes easier to see the coastline, which is nearly obscured by the dust. The dust is blowing towards the Korean peninsula, with some of it having already reached North Korea. In southeastern China, haze and grayish pollution mix in with the reddish dust.
Dust storms are an increasing problem in China, as overplowed and overgrazed farmland becomes more common. According to a National Geographic story, as much as 900 square miles of northern Chinese farmland is blown away by the wind each year. China’s Environmental Protection Agency has reported that the Gobi desert expanded by over 20,000 square miles in size from 1994 to 1999.