Australia: Smoke billows into stratosphere like volcanic eruption

The government says nearly 17 million hectares of forest and brush will be destroyed by unprecedented fires in Australia in 2019-2020, and more than 3 billion animals have been affected, according to a WWF report. This has already turned this event into an unprecedented disaster. Another effect, of lesser importance: the amount of smoke predicted in the atmosphere is enormous.

According to A study Released on Thursday in “Science,” the second largest eruption was when the Pinatubo Mountain (Philippines) erupted in 1991, the second layer that created the atmosphere – the second layer that creates the atmosphere above the tropics we live in – the 20th century. ” We were very surprised ” With these results, Ilan Goran, one of the two co-authors of the study, told AFP.

Smoke at high altitudes

The smoke “left Australia from the East and returned to Australia from the West two weeks later, which is incredible,” said a professor at the Weissman Institute of Science in Israel. “I have never seen such a needle (smoke) in the stratosphere,” he commented.

The combination of the three factors is the reason for climbing to such a height. First The intensity of the fires, which lasted for several months . In addition, part of the disaster area was to the far south, an area where the boundary between the tropics and the stratosphere is narrow. Finally, the sparks were still high due to severe storms in the region.

More harmful effects

Smoke in the stratosphere is more harmful than smoke in the tropics. “It can last for months or years,” Ilan Goran explained, while it stays in the tropics for a few weeks. In the case of the studied fire, it is possible to prove the existence of releases from January to July 2020, after which it is very difficult to distinguish them from other releases.

The strong winds in the stratosphere caused the smoke to spread far and wide, creating ” A thin blanket covering the entire southern hemisphere for months ”, According to the researcher. This absorbs a portion of the solar radiation and leads to localized warming, the effects of which are “ Not clear ”.

In contrast, the main effect of this layer has been found to reflect and reflect another portion of solar radiation. ” It clearly has a cooling effect ”, According to Ilan Koran, especially in the oceans below.

Algae can be badly affected thanks to photosynthesis, although they are most abundant in the Southern Hemisphere. All plants and animals already affected Climate change , May be affected by these effects.

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