You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Australia fires: NASA warns that smoke from bushfires will travel around the world

FOX News logo FOX News 4 days ago James Rogers
UP NEXT
UP NEXT

Smoke from the devastating Australian bushfires will travel around the globe, according to data compiled by NASA.

The space agency has been using its network of satellites to monitor smoke and aerosols from the Australian wildfires. Citing unprecedented conditions caused by intense heat and dryness, NASA notes that the fires have caused an “unusually large number of pyrocumulonimbus (pyrCbs) events,” or fire-induced thunderstorms.

AS AUSTRALIA FIRES RAGE, CREWS AIRDROP VEGETABLES TO FEED STARVING ANIMALS

“PyroCb events provide a pathway for smoke to reach the stratosphere more than 10 miles (16 km) in altitude,” NASA explained, in a blog post on Jan. 9. “Once in the stratosphere, the smoke can travel thousands of miles from its source, affecting atmospheric conditions globally.”

a train on a track with smoke coming out of it: The death toll from the Australia bushfires climbs to at least 28 people, experts say the wildfires could threaten the global food supply; Anna Kooiman reports from Sydney. © FoxNews.com The death toll from the Australia bushfires climbs to at least 28 people, experts say the wildfires could threaten the global food supply; Anna Kooiman reports from Sydney. “NASA is tracking the movement of smoke from the Australian fires lofted, via pyroCbs events, more than 9.3 miles (15 kilometers) high,” NASA added. “The smoke is having a dramatic impact on New Zealand, causing severe air quality issues across the county and visibly darkening mountaintop snow.”

TEXAS WILDFIRE PRODUCES MASSIVE CLOUD, SPARKS SEVERE THUNDERSTORM

NASA’s Goddard’s Space Flight Center in Goddard, Md. has been compiling satellite data, creating an “ultraviolet aerosol index” to track the aerosols and smoke.

The space agency notes that, by Jan. 8, smoke from the Australian fires had already traveled halfway around the world. When the smoke crossed South America, it turned the skies hazy and caused colorful sunrises and sunsets, according to NASA. “The smoke is expected to make at least one full circuit around the globe, returning once again to the skies over Australia,” it added.

17-YEAR-OLD NASA INTERN MAKES STUNNING DISCOVERY

Astronauts on the International Space Station have also been sharing images of the Australian fires captured from the orbiting space lab.

"An immense ash cloud covers Australia as we fly toward the sunset," tweeted European Space Agency Astronaut Luca Parmitano on Monday.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The Australian wildfires have scorched an area larger than the U.S. state of Indiana since September. At least 28 people have lost their lives in the crisis, which has destroyed more than 2,000 homes.

The Associated Press contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From FOX News

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon