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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Smoke

Smoke

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Sunday, January 5, 2020/Categories: wildlife conservation, photography, space science, sustainability, environment, climate change

                             Smoke from bush fires in Southeastern Australia, 1-4-2020 (credit: NASA)

The massive fires in Australia have been photographed for several weeks by satellites. The Earth Monitoring Aqua Project has just captured a new image of dense smoke from multiple fires drifting across the Tasman Sea towards New Zealand.

Launched by NASA in 2004, the program continues monitoring environmental conditions including forest fires. A pair of earlier images captured in December 2000 and again in December 2019 show the extreme difference in conditions in the eastern part of the country in just twenty years. In December 2000, most of eastern Australia was dark green and no fires were visibly in progress. In December 2019, the eastern portion of the continent was dry brown with multiple fires photographed from space. Multi-year drought creating hyper-dry soil and vegetation has promoted the bush fires while climate change has amplified all these environmental conditions.

 

           Australian Eastern Region, 12-6-2000    (credit: NASA)    Australian Eastern Region, 12-6-2019

The impacts are now visible on a continent-wide scale.

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