NASA/YouTube
A 10,000-mile-long river of dust connects the Sahara Desert with the Amazon Basin.

Video: the Sahara and the Amazon, a Tale of Interdependence

ICTMN Staff
5/6/15

It is common knowledge, at least in indigenous circles, that the Earth is a living entity, a being in and of herself.

Moreover, everything we are not only springs from the Earth but also returns to it. After all, we do not call her our Mother for nothing.

In recent years, science has begun to catch up with traditional knowledge, and now NASA has come out with a video connecting, of all things, two of the most disparate places on the planet: The Sahara Desert of Africa and the Amazon Basin of South America. Apparently the dust of the one nourishes the soil and plants of the other.

“What do these seemingly different climates have in common? They are intimately connected by a 10,000-mile-long intermittent atmospheric river of dust,” says NASA in the video below.

In short, the winds of the desert pick up phosphorus-rich dust from an ancient lakebed in Chad and send it floating over the ocean to the Amazon basin, NASA said, where it feeds the lush vegetation.

Climate change, of course, could alter this equation.

"We know that dust is very important in many complex ways,” said Hongbin Yu, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Maryland who works at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, in a NASA statement. “Dust affects climate and, at the same time, climate change will affect dust."

See the video below to learn the intricacies of this elegant, and perhaps endangered, relationship.

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