The large masses of smoke from Australia’s bushfires reached the stratosphere and traveled thousands of kilometers, affecting global atmospheric conditions today, according to NASA observations.

Satellite tracking by the NASA indicates that the aerosols and smoke from these massive fires are causing significant local devastation.

Specialists from the US agency explained that searing heat combined with historical dryness led to the formation of an unusually large number of pyrocumulonimbus (PyroCb) or fire-induced thunderstorms.

Such phenomena are ‘triggered by the uplift of ash, smoke, and burning material via super-heated updrafts. As these materials cool, clouds are formed that behave like traditional thunderstorms but without the accompanying precipitation,’ according to the report.

‘PyroCb events provide a pathway for smoke to reach the stratosphere more than 10 miles (16 km) in altitude. Once in the stratosphere, the smoke can travel thousands of miles from its source, affecting atmospheric conditions globally,’ the study continued.

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