NASA satellite tracks the journey of Saharan dust to the Amazon rainforest
NASA's Calipso satellite has enabled scientists to model in three dimensions the amount of dust that blows from the Saharan desert across the Atlantic, landing eventually in the Amazon rainforest.
Researchers from NASA quantified not only the amount of dust, but also how much phosphorus gets carried across the ocean to feed one of the most fertile regions on Earth. Phosphorous, a key plant nutrient and major element of commercial fertilizer, is found in sands in the Bodélé Depression, the site of a once-massive lake in Chad.
The new dust transport estimates were derived from data collected by a lidar instrument on NASA's Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation, or CALIPSO, satellite from 2007 to 2013.
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