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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Smoke Goes Global

Smoke Goes Global

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Friday, August 17, 2018/Categories: photography, space science, sustainability, environment, climate change

       Global Image of Canadian Smoke Seen at 1 million miles, 8-15-2018 (credit: NOAA's DSCOVR satellite)

The smoke from massive fires in California, the Pacific Northwest, and Canada have now reached from North America to as far away as Europe. According to the NASA, the visible light and infrared imager on the polar-orbiting Suomi NPP satellite viewed smoke and black carbon hovering over much of western USA and central Canada and moving northwards with the jet stream. Black carbon, commonly known as 'soot', is produced from the incomplete burning of dry vegetation and fossil fuels. This 'global' air pollution was visualized by several NASA and NOAA satellites and is a major health hazard.

Smoke/Black Carbon USA & Canadian Fires in Visible and Infrared Light, 8-15-2018 (credit: NASA-NOAA)

During the period as the satellite images, the National Weather Service determined local particulate pollution (PM 2.5) to be some of the worst ever recorded in and around Seattle. PM 2.5 concentrations were 'very unhealthy' to 'hazardous'.


As climate change continues amplifying drought, aridity, and other environmental factors, expect more and more satellite images to appear, along with the destructive force of the burning rangelands and mountain forests.



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