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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Smoke and Palm Trees

Smoke and Palm Trees

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Tuesday, May 10, 2016/Categories: space science, sustainability, environment, climate change

  Smoke and Haze from Fort McMurray Fires and Florida  (credit: SUOMI satellite image)

NASA captured a satellite image of smoke from the massive forest fires in the tar sands region of Alberta, Canada. The fires near the mining town of Fort McMurray forced evacuation of more than 80,000 residents and have burned more than 600 square miles for boreal forests and peat lands. Exceptionally high spring temperatures---30F above normal---and low winter snowcover produced a toxic combination where heat-induced lightening found tinder-dry fuel for the fire storm. Fires could continue burning for months considering the thick organic peat deposits found in the northern landscapes. Elizebath Kolbert refers to the situation as The Fires of Climate Change in her article for the New Yorker.

Smoke and haze from Alberta now stretches to cover the entire state of Florida as imaged by NASA's SUOMI polar satellite. A Canadian TV news clip captured video of the power of the fire to consume everything in its path.

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