Satellite tracks Saharan dust to Amazon in 3-D

February 25, 2015

For the first time, a NASA satellite has quantified in three dimensions how much dust makes the trans-Atlantic journey from the Sahara Desert to the Amazon rainforest. Among this dust is phosphorus, an essential nutrient that acts like a fertilizer, which the Amazon depends on in order to flourish.

An average of 27.7 million tons of dust per year – enough to fill 104,908 semi trucks – fall to the surface over the Amazon basin. The phosphorus portion, an estimated 22,000 tons per year, is about the same amount as that lost from rain and flooding. The finding is part of a bigger research effort to understand the role of dust and aerosols in the environment and on local and global climate.

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I know it's an animation but it feels as if you're up in space actually watching it happen right in front of you. Dramatic. Hard to judge whether it's a net '+' or '-'
Facinating. Maybe thats why so much rain falls in the amazon. Dust particles cause rain.

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