Identifying new sources of dust emissions from high latitudes


Mineral aerosols emitted in high latitude regions can significantly impact radiative forcing, biogeochemical cycling of metals, and local air quality, due to otherwise low concentrations of mineral aerosols and mostly hydrologically isolated frozen landscapes. These mineral dust emissions produce some of the largest dust fluxes represented by a deposition feature that can be several hundred meters thick (loess) as a relic of past climatic change. In the present climate, pro-glacial processes are globally reduced compared to the last glacial maximum and concentrated at higher latitudes but contribute a non-negligible proportion of the global dust budget albeit with large uncertainty. The onset of new sources of emissions from high latitudes are directly a function of climate change, providing increased sediment availability, more extreme conditions, and increased human activities. The estimates of dust production from high-latitudes is from a combination of few field studies (remote locations), poor satellite retrieval (high cloud cover and non-coincident acquisition), and limited knowledge on the processes that augment the timing and production of dust emissions in these regions.


Obtaining his PhD in Canada at the University of Guelph in shear stress partitioning dynamics, James King gained further experience in wind erosion research as a post-doctoral researcher at the Desert Research Institute (USA) and Oxford University (UK) before joining the Université de Montréal in 2015, where he is now Associate Professor in Geomorphology. Since his return to Canada he has focused his research on high-latitude dust sources leading several field-based and modelling studies within northern Canada as well collaborating with researchers for projects in Greenland and Alaska.

14 September 2023

Presented by

James King (University of Montréal)

Event type



13:00 - 14:00 UTC




1 h



Barcelona Dust Regional Center