plankton bloom

Red Saharan dust turns oceans green

Saharan dust triggers plankton blooms that can be seen from space by satellite (courtesy: NASA, May 2010)

Saharan dust is coating our cars and irritating our lungs – but what else is it doing?

The iron that gives Saharan dust its red colour acts like fertilizer in the open ocean. Sunlight and warmer weather provide the perfect conditions for spring blooms – vast areas of ocean covered in plant growth typically in springtime.