NASA video shows how dust from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon

NASA video shows how dust from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon

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A large amount of dust from the Sahara "travels" more than 2000 km to reach the Amazon, the phenomenon is shown in a video recently released by NASA.

NASA data show the relationship between the desert and the forest, they were collected between 2007 and 2013, despite being a phenomenon already known to scientists for years now we do have more precise data on this phenomenon.

It is estimated that approximately 182,000 tons of dust from the Sahara cross through the Atlantic Ocean to reach America. Of this total, about 27.7 million tons of dust precipitate each year on the Amazon basin, 0.08% corresponds to phosphorus (an important nutrient for plants), according to researchers from the University of Maryland (USA), who equates to 22,000 tons.

This amount of phosphorus, according to the study, is enough to meet the nutrient needs that the Amazon rainforest lost with heavy rains and floods in the region.

"The entire ecosystem of the Amazon relies on dust from the Sahara to replenish its lost nutrient reserves," says Study Coordinator Hongbin Yu. It confirms what many, even without scientific basis, have known for a long time: "this is a small world and we are all connected."

The nutrient-rich dust mainly comes from a region known as the Bodele Depression, located in the African country of Chad, formed after the largest lake in Africa dried up 1000 years ago.

However, most of the dust remains suspended in the air, while 43 million tons travels to the Caribbean Sea. The study, which was only possible thanks to the collection of data from the Calypso satellite, NASA, was published in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters. Here you can see a 3D animation to see the phenomenon in a more didactic way:

Video: NASA animation shows how dust from the Sahara desert fertilizes plants in the Amazon rainforest (May 2022).