Bushfire scientist David Packham warned in 2015 that the forest fuel levels had reached the worst in 30 years as a result of "misguided green ideology" warning of a repeat of the Black Saturday bushfires in the Australia state of Victoria in 2009.
"Over the past week, NASA satellites have observed an extraordinary amount of smoke injected into the atmosphere from the Australian fires and its subsequent eastward dispersal". There are nearly daily reports of the increasing toll, not only on the environment and wildlife but also on communities impacted by the fires. As the wildfires have intensified, huge plumes of smoke have been billowing into the air, drawn out over the Tasman Sea and the South Pacific Ocean, carried by prevailing winds.
NASA imagery shows the full extent of the smoke cloud, using a "UV aerosol" index.More news: Drew Pearson Reacts Angrily over Exclusion from Hall of Fame
NASA satellites can show the movement of the smoke across the globe as evidenced above, but other instruments found onboard can give scientists, firefighters, health experts, local government, and others information about what is happening on the ground in real-time. The center panel is from January 8th through 9th. Note that the strong aerosol signal over central Australia on Jan 13 is from a dust storm. The smoke is also expected to remain in the Southern Hemisphere, meaning it will never hit Canada.
Australia will take a century to get well from the devastating bush fires - and smoke from the huge infernos shall be seen everywhere in the world, specialists say, according to Current Industry.
Tracking the smoke also allows NASA to detect changes in air quality. The agency noted that the clouds are now traveling across the planet.More news: China needs to show Taiwan respect, says president
The NZDF now has 116 personnel deployed to Australia including New Zealand Army engineers, environmental health and primary health teams, as well as Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters, C-130 Hercules and crew who are supporting the Australian Defence Force efforts on the bushfires.
Typically known as the "land of the long white cloud", New Zealand may have to rethink its name if the now more usual dark clouds continue to hover over the country. According to the latest forecasts from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, heavy rains are expected across New South Wales for the rest of this week, which will hopefully bring some relief from the spreading fires.More news: How the first Aust-India ODI played out