Huge dust clouds swirling across the Atlantic from northern Africa to South America are pictured in stunning new images released by the US space agency Nasa that illustrate how Earth’s largest tropical rainforest relies on its biggest, hottest desert to flourish.

Scientists have now for the first time calculated how much dust makes this transatlantic journey from the Sahara to the Amazon basin where it fertilises depleted soils with life-sustaining nutrients.

Some 27.7 million tons of Saharan dust reaches the Amazon basin each year, according to analysis of three-dimensional imagery supplied by a Nasa satellite of the massive tan brown plumes that can be seen from space.

So, this idea of dumping a bit or iron in hte oceans to get the plankton growing. So called “iron fertilisation”. In order to such some CO2 out as geoengineering.

Of course, we can’t do that as that would be unnatural.

8 thoughts on “Hmmm”

  1. Yes, but geo-engineering would solve the problem, probably, and smashing capitalism would not therefore be necessary.

    Have you not noticed that the Green Blob is against any sensible solution – nuclear (including, in the case of Greenpeace, research into fusion), GMO, fracking, geo-engineering, and only supports ridiculous ones, like electric cars, wind & solar, all of which need subsidy from taxpayers?

    Its almost like they don’t want to solve the problem at all, but just want to tax & spend…

  2. 27.7 million tons when spread over the Amazon basin is hardly worth serious consideration as a vegetation forcing. However, did anyone estimate the amount of dust dropped into the Atlantic on the journey to the Amazon basin, and what the effect was on the plankton in situ? Surely the results of that investigation, would give a good indication of the likely efficacy of iron fertilisation?

  3. From the article it’s only 22,000 tonnes of phosphorus, which is the active ingredient, so to speak. The Amazon basin is 7 million sq kilometers.

  4. bloke (not) in spain

    Back home, having the Sahara all over the car’s a regular bane. Sweeping it off the 50 m2 of roof terrace usually yields around 50g.
    So either a total non-event or someone’s having problems with their orders of mag.

  5. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Unicorn Fart, accept no substitution. 100% natural, 100% renewable, Gaia approved. Now, where is my subsidy?

  6. So Much for Subtlety

    K.R. Lohse – “Surely the results of that investigation, would give a good indication of the likely efficacy of iron fertilisation?”

    I have seen a study of iron-rich dust and its effect on the marine life of the Persian Gulf. Which is much more rich in fish life than you would normally expect.

    I could probably find it if asked.

  7. They did a test run with iron filiings or the like to see whether the throry was correct.. Sadly shoals of fish rushed up and ate all the iron which kind of terminated the experiment abruptly.

    Some day I will find the link again!

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