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The Amazon rainforest and the Sahara desert seem to be the great opposites in terms of life they support: a profuse, “the lungs of the earth” and the “pharmacy of the world” and the other the planet’s largest desert with inhospitable conditions for life. However, the Sahara is essential for Amazon can fill the biosphere oxygen and diversity. That which is more arid is what keeps what is wetter.
NASA scientists have used the Calipso satellite to show a phenomenon that was already known, the distribution of dust from the Sahara desert traveling to the Amazon in atmospheric flows into the Amazon. Massive clouds of about 182 million tons of dust generated in the Bodélé depression located northwest of Lake Chad every year-that’s the equivalent of 69th thousand truckloads of dust. This mineral powder is composed of microorganisms containing phosphorus, a vital nutrient plant growth. It is estimated that around 27 million tons of dust every year traveling to the Amazon depositing about 22 thousand tons of phosphorus in the jungle. Thus replenishing trace minerals and trace elements to the Amazon and maintaining the cycle of life.
This process is part of a complex planetary self-regulation, with decreasing rainfall in the Sahel region next year increases the distribution of dust and viceversa Interdependence ecosystem is reflected in a life cycle as the Amazon rainforest, its rather, it is the primary source of aerosol particles and fundamentally affects biogeochemical cycles, including coal, thus maintaining an atmosphere capable of sustaining life. This case reminds us of the many factors that have to be combined for life to arise and remain on the planet.
Among this dust is phosphorus, an essential nutrient that acts like a fertilizer, which the Amazon depends on in order to flourish. 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 though 2013.
An average of 27.7 million tons of dust per year – enough to fill 104,980 semi trucks – fall to the surface over the Amazon basin. The phosphorus portion, an estimated 22,000 tons per year, is about the same amount as that lost from rain and flooding. 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.
Everything is connected, like the Butterfly Effect.