1 00:00:00,030 --> 00:00:04,210 Hi. I’m Kel Elkins from NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio. 2 00:00:04,210 --> 00:00:08,410 What connects the world’s largest desert to the world’s largest 3 00:00:08,410 --> 00:00:12,590 rainforest? Dust. And lots of it. Each year, dust from the Saharan Desert 4 00:00:12,590 --> 00:00:15,640 in Africa is swept up into the atmosphere, where it travels across the Atlantic Ocean 5 00:00:15,640 --> 00:00:19,840 towards the Amazon Rainforest in South America. On average, 6 00:00:19,840 --> 00:00:24,020 a staggering 27 million tons of African dust is deposited into the Amazon 7 00:00:24,020 --> 00:00:28,200 Basin each year. So much dust is deposited in the Amazon that 8 00:00:28,200 --> 00:00:32,420 scientists credit the phosphates found in the dust with fertilizing the Amazon Rainforest 9 00:00:32,420 --> 00:00:36,600 and keeping it as lush as it is. I was tasked with creating this data-driven visualization 10 00:00:36,600 --> 00:00:40,780 to tell the story of African Dust. The textures you see on these walls were created using data 11 00:00:40,780 --> 00:00:44,970 from NASA’s CALIPSO satellite, which measures aerosols in the atmosphere. 12 00:00:44,970 --> 00:00:49,180 These walls are compared with the satellite imagery taken from the same time period. 13 00:00:49,180 --> 00:00:53,370 The hazy brown sections of the images are areas where dust is present in the atmosphere. 14 00:00:53,370 --> 00:00:57,550 Viewing the CALIPSO data walls sequentially allows us to follow the dust as 15 00:00:57,550 --> 00:01:01,740 it travels across the ocean and makes it’s way toward South America. This next section 16 00:01:01,740 --> 00:01:05,920 describes dust flux – or how much dust moves through a region over a period of time. 17 00:01:05,920 --> 00:01:10,100 The amount of dust in the atmosphere varies with season, and has a lot to do with how much rain 18 00:01:10,100 --> 00:01:14,290 Africa gets. This was a particularly tricky dataset to visualize. 19 00:01:14,290 --> 00:01:18,480 I elected to use a particle system that emits particles at a rate and velocity relative 20 00:01:18,480 --> 00:01:22,660 to the measured flux for a region, and we can see how those particle shapes evolve over the 21 00:01:22,660 --> 00:01:26,840 seasons. The piece was well received by the media, with versions of the visualization running 22 00:01:26,840 --> 00:01:30,157 on Time, Discovery, the Washington Post, and weather.com.