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Sahara Sands

Forums Forums Science and Technology Sahara Sands

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    A massive dust cloud from the Sahara desert has made its way across the Atlantic and is now in the southern states.  Apparently they’re pretty common and no cause for alarm but this is one of the biggest in a long time.   It can make for some striking sunsets if you live in the affected area.



    Yup. interesting stuff and it does a lot more than create cool sunsets.

    Journal Reference:

    Hongbin Yu, Mian Chin, Tianle Yuan, Huisheng Bian, Lorraine A. Remer, Joseph M. Prospero, Ali Omar, David Winker, Yuekui Yang, Yan Zhang, Zhibo Zhang, Chun Zhao. The Fertilizing Role of African Dust in the Amazon Rainforest: A First Multiyear Assessment Based on CALIPSO Lidar Observations. Geophysical Research Letters, 2015; DOI: 10.1002/2015GL063040


    … For the first time, scientists have an accurate estimate of how much phosphorus makes this trans-Atlantic journey. A new paper, accepted for publication Feb. 24, 2015 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, puts the number at about 22,000 tons per year, which roughly matches the amount that the Amazon loses from rain and flooding.

    This phosphorus accounts for just 0.08% of the 27.7 million tons of Saharan dust that settles in the Amazon every year. The finding is part of a bigger research effort to understand the role of dust in the environment and its effects on local and global climate. …

    Of particular interest is the dust picked up from the Bodélé Depression in Chad. This ancient lake bed contains huge deposits of dead microorganisms that are loaded with phosphorus. Amazonian soils, in turn, are short on phosphorus and other critical nutrients that get washed away by the basin’s frequent and heavy rainfall. Thus, the entire Amazon ecosystem depends on Saharan dust to replenish these losses. …

    Folds within folds of cumulative harmonic complexity flowing down the cascades of time.


    Here’s a way interesting story about this particular event.  Talk about folds within folds of complexity,

    Saharan dust storm expected to cause dangerous air pollution in U.S. this week
    But the plume reduces the short-term likelihood of hurricanes forming in the Atlantic.
    By Jeff Masters, Ph.D. | Monday, June 22, 2020


    Dangerous air pollution during COVID-19 pandemic …

    Dangerous air pollution episode in U.S. this week …

    How dust affects hurricanes …

    Dust in Africa’s Sahel region and Atlantic hurricane activity …


    It’s early in the season, so the cooling shade of dust over the Atlantic, may protect us for a bit from hurricanes.

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