Home » Science » Astronomy » Each year, 22,000 tons of dust from the Sahara Desert is carried by air currents to the Amazon Rainforest where it is an important source of phosphorus for tropical plants

Each year, 22,000 tons of dust from the Sahara Desert is carried by air currents to the Amazon Rainforest where it is an important source of phosphorus for tropical plants

NASA Satellite Reveals How Much Saharan Dust Feeds Amazon’s Plants

What connects Earth’s largest, hottest desert to its largest tropical rain forest?

The Sahara Desert is a near-uninterrupted brown band of sand and scrub across the northern third of Africa. The Amazon rain forest is a dense green mass of humid jungle that covers northeast South America. But after strong winds sweep across the Sahara, a tan cloud rises in the air, stretches between the continents, and ties together the desert and the jungle. It’s dust. And lots of it.

For the first time, a NASA satellite has quantified in three dimensions how much dust makes this trans-Atlantic journey. Scientists have not only measured the volume of dust, they have also calculated how much phosphorus – remnant in Saharan sands from part of the dese… Continue Reading (5 minute read)

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