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Wildfires in Australia are producing so much smoke that their plumes are expected to travel across the world.
NASA released satellite images and models last week showing how massive amounts of smoke from Australia’s wildfires were affecting Earth’s atmosphere. The clouds of smoke, ash, and soot are so thick in regions they are forming their own thunderstorms.
The article goes on to state the following:
“The smoke is expected to make at least one full circuit around the globe, returning once again to the skies over Australia,” said Colin Seftor and Rob Gutro of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
According to NASA, the smoke can affect “atmospheric conditions globally,” providing either “net atmospheric cooling or warming.”
“The unprecedented conditions that include searing heat combined with historic dryness, have led to the formation of an unusually large number of pyrocumulonimbus (pyrCbs) events. PyroCbs are essentially fire-induced thunderstorms. They are triggered by the uplift of ash, smoke, and burning material via super-heated updrafts. As these materials cool, clouds are formed that behave like traditional thunderstorms but without the accompanying precipitation.
“PyroCb events provide a pathway for smoke to reach the stratosphere more than 10 miles (16 km) in altitude. Once in the stratosphere, the smoke can travel thousands of miles from its source, affecting atmospheric conditions globally. The effects of those events — whether the smoke provides a net atmospheric cooling or warming, what happens to underlying clouds, etc.) — is currently the subject of intense study.
“NASA is tracking the movement of smoke from the Australian fires lofted, via pyroCbs events, more than 9.3 miles (15 kilometers) high. The smoke is having a dramatic impact on New Zealand, causing severe air quality issues across the county and visibly darkening mountaintop snow.”
— NASA Goddard (@NASAGoddard) January 9, 2020
The smoke from the Australian bushfires is so severe it is expected to complete a circuit of the Earth, returning to the country’s skies from the west. The smoke has billowed into the lower stratosphere, reaching 17.7 kilometres above sea level, NASA saidhttps://t.co/f2MetZ1Cow
— Alfons López Tena (@alfonslopeztena) January 14, 2020
Bushfire smoke plume is expected to lap the globe, NASA says.
“In the case of these fires — they are so huge, they are still burning, and will be burning for quite some time — there’s a constant of supply of smoke particles into the air,” says @SciNatehttps://t.co/vJBGHQf3xs pic.twitter.com/Wpla7SzXZG
— News Breakfast (@BreakfastNews) January 13, 2020
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