Powder mass

A large mass of North African desert dust of about 800 million metric tons is headed for Mexico and the United States on a journey that is expected to be completed in a few days. The dust column, which is visible to the human eye, although it was detected in June 2020 by NASA satellites, is a phenomenon that takes place every year and its journey is registered by different satellites and weather stations around the world. world.

The phenomenon takes place in late spring in the North African deserts where warm winds lift this immense layer of dust that is transported across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and the coasts of the United States. Is this dust column dangerous to health? What impact does it have on the ecosystem? The first thing to explain is that it is a natural phenomenon and not related to human activity on the planet, but its passage leaves its mark, literally, with both positive and negative consequences.

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Powder mass
NASA photo

This mass of dust, on the one hand, serves as a powerful fertilizer for the Amazon and supports the creation and maintenance of the Caribbean beaches, since it forms a base of micronutrients for the marine ecosystem and, as we have pointed out, for the Amazonian honeysuckle . These columns carry considerable amounts of phosphorous and iron that favor the production of marine biomass in those areas where these minerals are scarce.

But as we have pointed out, this annual trip also has a negative impact for the human being and in several facets. It is known that it can interfere with communications, but the worst are the possible health consequences once the spine makes landfall: this dust can be behind allergies and directly affects those affected by respiratory problems, so the use is recommended. masks (thank goodness, unfortunately, for the latter we are already prepared).

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