Sargassum seaweed

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Anyone who's been to the beach in South Florida or the Caribbean in recent months has probably seen — or smelled — sargassum piled up on shore. The algae is hitting record levels.

In the Keys, some want their local governments to address the problem.

University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

Thanks to research done at the University of Miami, we know the epic dust clouds that drift out of North Africa may sometimes prevent hurricanes. (They block the solar energy those cyclones need to form out in the Atlantic.) Now UM scientists have made another discovery linking Africa and the Americas – and this time it’s about smoke. They’ve found that fire smoke from southern Africa also floats our way and has a big, often beneficial impact on the Amazon rainforest and our oceans.