We know the planet is slowly warming up. However, certain factors have accelerated the process over these years. Large forest fires were registered between June 2019 and May 2020. The worst ever recorded in Australia. A simulation shows the effects on the atmosphere. The fires in Australia warmed the planet during “black summer”.
The research team is led by Pengfei Yu. He works at Jinan University in China. He made a virtual simulation of the gigantic cloud of smoke from the fires.
Extreme forest fires inject smoke into the upper troposphere and the stratosphere. The higher it is, the longer it will be there and the wider its expansion, ”explains Yu.
What happened in the case of? black summer? Almost 1 trillion grams of smoke particles ended up in the stratosphere. This is the highest number ever measured.
Organic carbon does not pose a major threat to the environment. However, black absorbs more sunlight and consequently heats the air around it. The smoke from the Australian bushfires contained about 2.5% of the black carbon. This led to a kind of greenhouse effect.
Up to 2 degrees Celsius
‘The simulations suggest that the smoke stayed in the atmosphere throughout 2020. It heated the stratosphere considerably by about 1-2 K. This corresponds to 1-2 degrees Celsius. And it took more than six months, “say the researchers.
Smoke has a lasting effect on the dynamics and chemistry of the stratosphere. The Australian bush fires may also have affected ozone levels in the stratosphere. They were able to temporarily enlarge the ozone hole.
The results of the study were published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.