CALIPSO Satellite Shows Smoke from Australian Fires
January 1, 2020, NASA’s Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) satellite observed an extraordinary amount of smoke injected into the atmosphere from the Australian fires with smoke plumes reaching 11 miles (17.7 km) vertically into the lower stratosphere from some energetic firestorms.
The devastating fires in southeastern Australia have renewed focus on the dangers that extreme drought and heat can pose to society. The beginning of January, fires erupted near populated areas in Victoria and New South Wales with destructive effects, resulting in one of Australia’s largest evacuations. NASA’s CALIPSO satellite provided data for a new animation that shows the aerosols generated from the smoke has spread high into the atmosphere and far to the east over the Pacific Ocean.
These storms are fueled by both heat from the fires and water vapor in the atmosphere, which allow them to grow into thunderstorms. Strong winds from these storms can fan fires into raging infernos. There have been more than 20 firestorms just in the past week.
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"NASA's CALOPSO Satellite Animation Shows Smoke from Australian Fires, Spreading High and Far East"
Image/Article Credit: Denise Linberry, Jason Tackett, Chip Trepte, Jay Kar, Beth Brumbaugh
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