Dense Smoke from Australia Fire Reaches Stratosphere Heads to Pacific Northwest

Nellie Chapman
January 16, 2020

In Halifax, the top three in 69 Canadian firefighters who travel to the continent of the island require hotter temperatures and drier conditions than other typical fires on the east coast, where there is plenty of water and the flames progress more slowly. It's these storms that are pushing smoke up into our stratosphere, with certain plumes reaching as high as 15 kilometers up (9.3 miles) from the ground.

Aside from the ISS astronauts, NASA's satellites are also monitoring Australia's bushfires from space.

These pictures posted to Twitter show the different in the air quality in Melbourne over the past few days. He expected it would improve during the day on Tuesday.

Bushfires have already burnt more than 5.2 million hectares in NSW and 1.3 million hectares in Victoria this fire season.

By January 8, smoke was halfway around the world and, according to NASA scientists, would make at least one complete circuit, citing satellite tracking data.

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The smoke is having a dramatic impact on nearby New Zealand, which has experienced severe air quality issues and a darkening of the colour of the snow on the mountains. According to the latest forecasts from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, heavy rains are expected across New South Wales for the rest of this week, which will hopefully bring some relief from the spreading fires.

But the direct cause of the Australia fires is a result of arson, not climate change, as Breitbart News has chronicled.

"Large and numerous pyrocumulonimbus events are relatively rare - especially at this scale", Chip Trepte, a project scientist from research body CALIPSO at NASA's Langley Research Centre said.

Using a fleet of satellites, the space agency has been analyzing the smoke and aerosols coming from the fires blazing in Australia.

The OMPS (Ozone Mapper and Profiler Suite of instruments) Aerosol Index layer on Suomi NPP is able to indicate the presence of ultraviolet (UV)-absorbing particles in the air (aerosols) such as desert dust and, in this case, soot particles in the atmosphere; it is related to both the thickness of the aerosol layer located in the atmosphere and to the height of the layer.

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