Climite scientists from the US have discovered that dust from as far away as China’s Gobi Desert is carried by the global jet stream and deposited in California’s Yosemite National Park where its trees feed off of microscopic material in the dust containing nutrients.
It’s a occurance that has been going on for hundreds of thousands of years but only now have scientists discovered this relationship between California’s forests and the Gobi Desert. The team of researchers collected dust from the Sierra Nevada mountains and discovered most of it was comprised of sand from the Gobi and California’s Central Valley.
The dust found at high elevations in Yosemite was found to be 45% from Asian origins, mainly the Gobi Desert. Sand storms from the desert lift the dust into the air where it is carried over the Pacific Ocean for several days. The air carrying it hits against California’s mountains, where it is deposited along with rain or snow. While people have known about such dust journeys before, previously noone knew about how important the dust was for Yosemite’s ecosystem.
A similar process had already been discovered in South America, where the rainforests of the Amazon relies on sand blown from the Sahara Desert for nutrients.