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
MAR 25, 2020
Cardiology
MAR 25, 2020
Staying Fit While Avoiding COVID-19
For those used to working out at a gym, the current circumstances requiring us all to remain isolated as much as possibl ...
MAY 05, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAY 05, 2020
How Much Do You Know About the Moon?
There are literally dozens upon dozens of natural satellites orbiting the planets in our solar system, but only one of t ...
MAY 25, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAY 25, 2020
Ever Wonder How Some Fish Produce Electricity?
When you hear the term ‘electric fish,’ the first thing that probably comes to mind is the infamous electric ...
MAY 27, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
MAY 27, 2020
Light-Bearing Ether: How a Historical Null Result Revolutionized Modern Physics
Ether (or aether) is a term used in ancient mythology and medieval science to denote the matter that fills in the void o ...
MAY 31, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAY 31, 2020
Another SpaceX Starship Prototype Explodes During Testing
Incomplete Starship prototypes are a common sight if you follow SpaceX’s plethora of rocket-centric projects, but ...
JUN 04, 2020
Earth & The Environment
JUN 04, 2020
COVID-19 Lockdown Leads to Decreases in Outdoor Air Pollution, but Increases in Indoor Air Pollution
With most of North America sheltering in place to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, it’s not surprising that ...
Loading Comments...