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NASA Satellite Tracks Sahara Desert Dust All the Way to the Amazon

Scientists say nutrients in the dust help plants in the Amazon bloom.

There is an average of 27.7 million tons of Saharan dust making the transatlantic journey to the Amazon every year, including around 22,000 tons of phosphorous, which replenishes the jungle after vital nutrients are washed away in the rainy season. 

The data estimates were made using the lidar instrument on NASA's Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO). 

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