Exceptional Saharan Dust Transport over the Atlantic Ocean

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#Seas & Oceans

Published on 27 July 2020

Saharan dust transport is a phenomenon that occurs every year, mostly during summer months, often reaching Central and South America. Being rich in elements such as nitrogen, iron and phosphorus, Saharan dust brings important nutrients to the plant-life of the Amazon's rainforest and acts as a fertiliser for the production of phytoplankton. However, although the occurrence is not unusual, in June 2020 the amount of the dust transported and the density of the dust cloud was exceptional, causing very poor visibility and major dust deposits in many places in the Caribbean.

Because of its long duration and exceptional intensity, the phenomenon could be followed from meteorological satellites throughout the month of June:
Suomi NPP True colour RGB, 05 June–26 June, showing dust being transported from Sahara to the Caribbean.

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