In this fantastic view of dust and other aerosols on the planet we can see the link between land and sea. Just as rain must fall on land for the land plants to flourish, dust must fall on the oceans for ocean plants to flourish. The video comes from actual satellite observations. You can easily see that the vast majority of the world’s oceans are not receiving vital dust.
Remember in just the same way as “all beef is grass” in terrestrial ecosystems, “all fish is plankton” in ocean ecosystems.
Watch the NASA video with captions here… at the end of this post there is a shorter narrated video.
The animated video shows the Sahara is the major source of dust but that another source is Eastern Asia, Mongolia and western China which feeds the North Pacific. it is the red iron oxide in dust that is the most vital mineral micro-nutrient that the oceans require. While dust is increasing in the Sahara winds it is decreasing almost everywhere else.
There is upward of a billion tonnes of dust that blows into the worlds oceans each year. The vast majority of that dust is in particles that are large and heavy enough that they sink within minutes into the ocean deep. Very little of the mineral nutrients have a chance of being captured and utilized by ocean plants. Only a fraction of a percent of the dust is so tiny, a micron or less that it remains floating in the surface waters where its minerals feed ocean plankton.
Dramatic reductions in dust blowing to the vast majority of the world’s oceans is slowly turning ocean pastures into ocean deserts.
Here’s a short narrated version of the video.