MAY 14, 2015 6:25 AM PDT

Dust In The Wind?


There couldn't be two climates that differ more from each other than the Sahara Desert and the Amazon Rainforest, but as NASA research shows, the two are connected in a very important way.

Strong winds that originate in Chad, on the African continent, stir up enormous amounts of dust that then enter the upper atmosphere and are swept along across the Atlantic Ocean for 10,000 miles, ultimately reaching the lush Amazon basin. Approximately 15% of the desert dust is deposited in the rainforest bringing vital phosphorus to the plants that grow there.

Phosphorus is scarce in the rainforest and the dust from the Sahara keeps many of the diverse plant species there alive. Scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center are studying the dust pattern and how it's changed over time with the CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations) satellite. From the data collected by the satellite, NASA has been able to create 3D models of the dust stream and track changes in the amounts of dust. Their findings indicate that winds in the desert, as well as rainfall are responsible for the variability in the models from 2007-2011.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
NOV 06, 2020
Space & Astronomy
300 Million Planets in the Milky Way May Be Habitable
NOV 06, 2020
300 Million Planets in the Milky Way May Be Habitable
Researchers have found that there could be at least 300 million habitable worlds in the Milky Way galaxy. This could mea ...
DEC 28, 2020
Immunology
What Happens When Your Immune System Works Against You?!
DEC 28, 2020
What Happens When Your Immune System Works Against You?!
Our immune system is our army against any molecule that wants to invade our bodies like viruses, bacteria, and cancer. I ...
JAN 04, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Did Intelligent Civilizations Roam Our Galaxy 5 Billion Years Ago?
JAN 04, 2021
Did Intelligent Civilizations Roam Our Galaxy 5 Billion Years Ago?
Researchers have found that there were likely many intelligent alien civilizations sprawled across our galaxy billions o ...
FEB 20, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Mars Perseverance Rover Gets Ready to Find Life on Mars
FEB 20, 2021
Mars Perseverance Rover Gets Ready to Find Life on Mars
NASA scientists have confirmed that their car-sized Perseverance Mars rover is 'healthy' following its arrival o ...
JUN 05, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Washington State University Opens Cannabis Research Center
JUN 05, 2021
Washington State University Opens Cannabis Research Center
Washington State University (WSU) has announced the opening of a multi-disciplinary research center with nearly 100 scie ...
NOV 09, 2021
Space & Astronomy
10 Facts You May Not Know About Carl Sagan
NOV 09, 2021
10 Facts You May Not Know About Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan was born November 9, 1934, 87 years ago today. He would go on to become one of the most influential voices in ...
Loading Comments...