River of desert dust feeds Amazon forests

The Sahara Desert is one of the least hospitable climates on Earth. Its barren plateaus, rocky peaks and shifting sands envelop the northern third of Africa, which sees very little rain, vegetation and life.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic Ocean thrives the world’s largest rainforest. The lush, vibrant Amazon basin, located in northeast South America, supports a vast network of unparalleled ecological diversity.

So, what do these seemingly different climates have in common? They are intimately connected by a 10,000-mile-long intermittent atmospheric river of dust.



NASA’s Earth Observatory