MIAMI – The smoke coming from the fires in southeastern Australia has spread high into the atmosphere, and during an eastward dispersal, it will be making at least one full circuit globally, which will be affecting air quality, according to NASA scientists.
In New Zealand, the smoke was able to darken mountaintop snow. By Jan. 8, NASA satellites detected the smoke had traveled halfway around the earth and was turning the skies hazy. The smoke covered much of Peru and Argentina. And on Friday, NASA reported some of it was moving north.
NASA scientists expect the smoke to affect atmospheric conditions and air quality globally, but they do not know with certainty if it will have a cooling or a warming effect.
In this Dec. 31, 2019, photo provided by Siobhan Threlfall, fire and thick smoke remains the village of Nerrigundah, Australia. The tiny village has been among the hardest hit by Australia's devastating wildfires, with about two thirds of the homes destroyed and a 71-year-old man killed. (AP Photo/Siobhan Threlfall)