Every year, winds loft about 800 million metric tons of desert dust from North Africa—by far the planet’s largest source of airborne dust particles. The dust is often visible from space during the spring, summer, and early fall, when huge plumes of dry, dusty air from the Sahara Desert (the Saharan Air Layer) blow westward over the tropical Atlantic Ocean.
What is however magical is what this dust contains. Specifically the dust picked up from the Bodélé Depression in Chad, an ancient lake bed where rock minerals composed of dead microorganisms are loaded with phosphorus. Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plant proteins and growth, which the Amazon rain forest depends on in order to flourish.Nutrients – the same ones found in commercial fertilizers – are in short supply in Amazonian soils. Instead they are locked up in the plants themselves. Fallen, decomposing leaves and organic matter provide the majority of nutrients, which are rapidly absorbed by plants and trees after entering the soil. But some nutrients, including phosphorus, are washed away by rainfall into streams and rivers, draining from the Amazon basin like a slowly leaking bathtub.The phosphorus that reaches Amazon soils from Saharan dust, an estimated 22,000 tons per year, is about the same amount as that lost from rain and flooding, Yu said. 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.Don’t you think this is magical ? It looks like parts of all parts of the Earth system are cooperating with eachother. When will humanity start to cooperate ?
This video shows real images of the Earth from Thursday June 18, 2020, captured by the NASA/DSCOVR satellite located 1 million miles away.