Sahara dust feeds Amazon rain forest

February 26, 2015 5:25 PM |


A NASA study has revealed that dust from the hot Saharan Desert of North Africa may have a connection to a totally different climate in South America.

The study has concluded that the dust acts as a fertilizer for South America's Amazon rainforest nearly 1,600 miles to the west over the Atlantic Ocean. Factually speaking, this dust provides the much needed phosphorous to the soils of the Amazon. Using satellite data, the study emphasizes that nutrients such as phosphorous are not in abundance in the Amazon as rainfall washes it down from the forest floor to nearby streams or rivers.

Approximately 22,000 tons of phosphorous reach the Amazon every year from the Saharan dust, which this is equivalent to the amount of phosphorous lost due to rainfall runoff in the Amazon. The plumes of dust can sometimes be seen on satellite images when they first emanate from Africa. Then these dust particles are transported westwards into parts of the Caribbean Islands, northern parts of South America and even Florida. Surges of dry air often accompany the dust to the western Atlantic Ocean.

The Saharan dust contain so much phosphorous because it comes from lake beds of northern Africa, specially in Chad which has very high content of phosphorous.

For accurate weather forecast and updates, download Skymet Weather (Android App | iOS App) App.

Weather Forecast

Other Latest Stories

Weather on Twitter
#Telangana: Spell of #rain and with gusty winds will affect at some places of #Hyderabad Jogulamba-Gadwal, Mahbubna…
Wednesday, July 17 17:05Reply
#Rajasthan: Short spell of #rain and thunder shower at few places with gusty winds would occur over #Alwar, Bharatp…
Wednesday, July 17 16:59Reply
Active to vigorous #Monsoon conditions are likely to trigger heavy to heavy #rains in #Kerala putting several distr…
Wednesday, July 17 16:45Reply
उत्तर बिहार में जलप्रलय का कहर जारी है। नदियों में उफान से बाढ़ की समस्या बढ़ती जा रही है। via @SkymetHindi
Wednesday, July 17 16:30Reply
#Monsoon will be vigorous over parts of #Kerala, and South Coastal #Karnataka. #Monsoon2019
Wednesday, July 17 16:07Reply
#Rain and thundershowers will occur at some places of #Chhattisgarh and #Jharkhand during next 2-4 hours.
Wednesday, July 17 15:09Reply
#Odisha: Light to moderate #rain and #thundershowers at some places with isolated heavy showers and gusty strong wi…
Wednesday, July 17 15:07Reply
Alert: According to Meteorologists at Skymet, heavy to extremely heavy rain will be observed in #Kerala between Jul…
Wednesday, July 17 15:06Reply
Wednesday, July 17 14:38Reply
Heavy to very heavy #rains are likely in parts of #Kerala, and South Coastal #Karnataka. #WeatherForecast
Wednesday, July 17 14:30Reply

latest news

USAID Skymet Partnership

Skymet weather

Download the Skymet App

Our app is available for download so give it a try