• A personal note on IGBP and the social sciences

    Humans are an integral component of the Earth system as conceptualised by IGBP. João Morais recalls key milestones in IGBP’s engagement with the social sciences and offers some words of advice for Future Earth.
  • IGBP and Earth observation:
    a co-evolution

    The iconic images of Earth beamed back by the earliest spacecraft helped to galvanise interest in our planet’s environment. The subsequent evolution and development of satellites for Earth observation has been intricately linked with that of IGBP and other global-change research programmes, write Jack Kaye and Cat Downy .

Trends in aerosol nutrient solubility along a west-east transect of the Saharan dust plume

Geophysical Research Letters (2006)
Baker A R, French M and Linge K L
Doi: 10.1029/2005GL024764
Vol 33; Issue 7; pp. 4

Simple leaching protocols have been used to examine trends in the solubility of aerosol nutrients (Fe, P and Si) along a west – east transect through the Saharan dust plume (German SOLAS cruise M55) and between Saharan and southern hemisphere-origin aerosols. Solubilities were in the range 0.5–7.9% for Fe, 2.3–67% for P and 0.02–1.1% for Si, with lower values corresponding to samples of Saharan origin. Previous laboratory studies have suggested that aerosol Fe solubility might be enhanced by acid- and/or photo-chemistry during transport through the atmosphere, but only the solubility of P was observed to be higher at the western end of the transect than the eastern. This implies that if (photo)chemical processing of aerosol Fe occurs in the atmosphere, significant enhancement of Fe solubility requires longer than the 5–10 days associated with transport of Saharan dust across the tropical Atlantic Ocean.

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