Washington, Jan 14 (Agencies): A new study has revealed that the amount of dust in the atmosphere has doubled over the last century and the dramatic change is influencing climate and ecology around the world.

The study, led by Natalie Mahowald, associate professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at Cornell University in the US, used available data and computer modeling to estimate the amount of soil particles in the air throughout the 20th century.  

It's the first study to trace the fluctuation of a natural (not manmade) aerosol around the globe over the course of a century, according to a Cornell statement.  Desert dust and climate influence each other directly and indirectly through a host of intertwined systems. 

"Now, we finally have some information on how the desert dust is fluctuating. This has a really big impact for the understanding of climate sensitivity," said Mahowald.  Mahowald presented the research at the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco