Bushfire Smoke Is About To Drift Over Australia After Travelling Around World
Bushfires around Australia have caused entire cities to be blanketed in a thick haze of smoke, leading to serious breathing issues for some.
It was haunting to see smoke from the fires drifting across the Tasman and affecting people in New Zealand. However, it was later revealed that the same smoke managed to go even further and hit South America - which is more than 11,000 kilometres away.
But frighteningly, scientists from NASA have explained that the exact same smoke is about to complete a trip around the planet.
The agency said: "Over the past week, NASA satellites have observed an extraordinary amount of smoke injected into the atmosphere from the Australian fires and its subsequent eastward dispersal.
"The smoke is expected to make at least one full circuit around the globe, returning once again to the skies over Australia."
The agency added that the bushfires have been creating their own type of weather, which has helped the smoke plume move so far.
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It continued: "PyroCbs (pyrocumulonimbus) 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."
The smoke haze has made its way into the stratosphere, which is a casual 16 kilometres above the surface of the planet. As a result, NASA says the haze has been able to travel much further than expected.
It might be hard for people on the ground to be able to see the smoke with the naked eye, but it will definitely be there in the coming days over Western Australia, if the forecast is correct.
In the meantime, parts of Australia are still being covered in smoke from nearby bushfires.
Melbourne has recorded seriously dangerous air quality levels, with Brighton sitting at 655 AQI (air quality index - anything over 200 is considered hazardous). When you compare it to other cities on the list like 380 for Delhi, 55 in Canberra and 159 in Shouguang, you know it's high.
The whole state is expected to experience 'poor' or 'very poor' air quality as a result of 19 bushfires, mainly concentrated in the East Gippsland area.
Featured Image Credit: PA