Saharan Atmospheric Layer (28 Jan)

This animation shows the aerosols in the giant plume of Saharan Dust blowing off the western coast of Africa on June 13 through 18, 2020. This aerosol index was created from the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite’ s Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) data overlaid over visible imagery from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS).

The Saharan Dust blows north into Europe, including Venice and West across the Atlantic as well where it is known as Saharan Atmospheric Layer. These westward winds that transport dust travel along what were known as the trade winds during the colonial era. Phosphorus essential to the function of the rainforest is contained in this dust– giving the dust an ambivalent quality. 

Contributed by Haseeb Ahmed.

Credits: NASA/NOAA, Colin Seftor.