Facebook Twitter

Dark smoke is apparently circling the Earth. Here’s where it came from

This isn’t a science fiction movie. It’s real life.

SHARE Dark smoke is apparently circling the Earth. Here’s where it came from
Smoke from wildfires shrouds a road near Moruya, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020.

Smoke from wildfires shrouds a road near Moruya, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020.

Rick Rycroft, Associated Press

Dark smoke that originated in Australia is currently circling Earth, according to NASA.

What’s going on: NASA announced almost three weeks ago that the massive amount of smoke from the Australia brush fires returned to Earth after circling the planet.

  • NASA shared Google Earth images that showed the smoke trailing across the world.
  • The smoke ventured halfway across the planet — and to South America — by Jan. 8.
  • Thunderstorms caused the smoke to rise into the stratosphere, USA Today reports. The smoke traveled thousands of miles from Australia.

Another view: NASA astronaut Christina Koch snapped a photo of the smoke over Australia. The haze covered 70% of the country, according to Business Insider.

  • Koch: “Australia. Our hearts and thoughts are with you.”

Bigger picture: The wildfires have burned close to 25 million acres of land, according to Business Insider. There have been 27 deaths. Close to 2,000 homes have been destroyed from the raging fire, too.

  • Australia’s bushfires have grown from natural causes.
  • The fires are the worst wildfires in decades. The fire season only began last July and it has already reached this point, according to CNN.
  • Air quality could be affected elsewhere because of the particles created by the fires.
  • Nicolas Bellouin, a climate scientist at the University of Reading, told CNN: “If we started to see fires of this level in Australia every year, or every couple of years, then the impacts on air quality and climate will become both concerning and noticeable.”