With currents in the air, over land, and at sea, Earth is an intricately connected system of systems. Much of the human world was on pause during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Earth’s systems continued apace as they have for millennia. These dynamic connections are on full display in global aerosol patterns. Once airborne, particles like dust, black carbon, and sea salt can travel across continents and over oceans.
Watch as the Amazon Rainforest receives dust carried from the Saharan Desert. Observe tropical depressions form, dissolve, or grow into powerful hurricanes over the Atlantic Ocean. And witness the 2019–2020 Australian wildfires consume eucalyptus forests, sending smoke high into the stratosphere where it ultimately circumnavigated the planet.