The U.S. city that only speaks Spanish
SpaceX’s Dragon cargo spacecraft, launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, has an arduous task ahead of it, including investigating atmospheric dust and its impact on climate. The capsule docked autonomously with the International Space Station this weekend as it traveled over the South Atlantic Ocean.
The mission’s objectives include learning about the composition of minerals contained in airborne dust. Mineral dust, also known as desert dust, “can influence climate, accelerate snowmelt and even fertilize plants on land and in the ocean,” NASA said.
The flagship project, called EMIT, Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation mission, is developed by the U.S. space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It incorporates an imaging spectrometer to measure the mineral composition of dust in arid regions of the planet.
SpaceX’s Dragon cargo spacecraft will serve as a focal point in the study of atmospheric dust. It will also investigate, from the International Space Station, the effects of microgravity on immune system aging and soil microbial communities. The production of cell-free proteins and the manufacture of concrete outside the Earth, among others.
How does Sahara dust affect people’s health?
The work published in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters, shows that 22,000 tons of phosphorus arrive annually from the Sahara to the Amazon basin, providing a quantity of nutrients essential for the health of the rainforest.
Much of the phosphorus detected on this transoceanic journey comes from the Bodele depression (Chad), an area formerly covered by a lake where phosphorus-rich rocks accumulate.
The Saharan dust plume departed from Africa driven by constant and intense trade winds, which carry the dust to the American continent in a channel parallel to the Equator, often taking advantage of the cloudy transit of the ZCIT.
Usually in spring, these waves of Saharan dust usually reach the Caribbean, while as the calendar progresses, the Saharan advection arrives on the southeastern coast of the United States or in the Caribbean.
On our coasts it causes the appearance of red tides and the salinization of the soils of the South of the Iberian Peninsula, the Mediterranean coast and the Balearic Islands. In this entry we talked in detail about the conclusions reached by the Air Quality Network of the Junta de Andalucía in this regard.
Sahara Dust, the historic cloud that darkens the Caribbean
The black clouds had vanished and although everything was still covered with dust, the air seemed fresh, encouraging, and the sky was blue again. I remember the moment when I took off my mask. The dust pneumonia had just passed and although it was still hard to breathe, I inhaled deeply from the doorway. Clean air.
Out on the street, the adults gathered and organized a picnic to give thanks for the end of the storms. But the county was not the same. Joy was mixed with a sense of loss and guilt. Many families had left months before and others did not overcome pneumonia and starvation. There were no more cattle and nothing was growing in the fields. Some spoke of the land’s revenge, they knew they had mistreated the soil.
But then it came back. From the top of the dunes we caught a glimpse of a dark cloud advancing rapidly from the west. We ran to warn our parents, but the storm had already reached the houses. It was a matter of minutes, it was four o’clock in the afternoon and the sun was completely hidden. Everything was black, I couldn’t even make out my hands reaching for the doorknob.
Dust from the Sahara arrives in Havana
MIAMI – Sahara dust is once again moving toward South Florida on a journey that begins thousands of miles away in the Sahara Desert, but has an impact on the weather on this side of the world as it approaches.
Because the desert is warm and the hot air rises, dust, sand and ground debris rise into the sky and are then carried across the Atlantic Ocean by the northeast trade winds.
One of the most important, is that during this time of cyclone formation, it keeps the tropics calm because it limits storm formation. And in the case of South Florida, its presence also means that there is less chance of seeing rain.
As Sahara dust crosses the Atlantic, it generally occupies a layer of the atmosphere 2 to 2.5 miles thick with its base starting about 1 mile above the surface. “The heat, dryness and strong winds associated with this layer of Saharan air have been shown to suppress the formation and intensification of tropical cyclones,” explains the U.S. National Hurricane Center.