2015-06-22. Amazon Rain Forest Nourished by African Dust.

posted Jul 5, 2015, 1:40 PM by Alan Gould
By Terri Cook, EOS publication of AGU. For GSS Energy Flow chapter 9. Excerpt: New satellite data highlight the important role African dust plays in maintaining the rain forest's long-term health. The productivity of the Amazon rain forest, which plays a crucial role in regulating Earth’s climate, is limited by the availability of nutrients, especially phosphorous. Because water runoff keeps depleting this key nutrient from the basin’s old and low-phosphorus soils, previous studies have suggested the Amazon’s long-term productivity must depend upon dust transported from a distance source such as the Sahara. This foreign source of phosphorous, however, is not well quantified, and large discrepancies exist between current measurements and model estimates. To resolve these discrepancies, Yu et al. published the first multiyear (2007–2013) satellite-based estimate of dust deposition in the Amazon Basin using three-dimensional (3-D) aerosol measurements from the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) instrument on board the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) satellite.... https://eos.org/research-spotlights/amazon-rain-forest-nourished-by-african-dust