Blowing dust and temperature alterations in arid lands can relate significantly to societal activities at the earth-atmosphere interface. An analysis of the Sonoran Desert dust event history in the United States indicates that surface moisture and vegetation strongly control the frequency variance of blowing dust. One desertification process observed in the region, the farm abandonment desertification effect (FADE), appears to warm surface air temperatures by about one-third that of the urbanization process in a large desert city (Phoenix, Arizona). No obvious precipitation alterations by FADE are apparent for the Central Arizona environment.