Australia is being ravaged by the worst wildfires seen in decades, with large swaths of the country devastated since the fire season began in late July.
It comes as major Australian cities are still struggling with low air quality from bushfire smoke.More news: Relive a classic Chiefs game as you prepare for the AFC Championship
NASA, in an earlier release also stated the other actions which have led to a large number of pyrocumulonimbus (pyrCbs) events. Phil Walter / Getty ImagesNASA said that the overall effects of this, such as whether the extra smoke ends up helping to heat or cool the earth, is "currently the subject of intense study".
By 8 January, the smoke had travelled halfway around the Earth, NASA said, crossing South America and "turning skies hazy and causing colourful sunrises and sunsets".
The smoke from the Australian bushfires will take a "full circuit" and return to the nation from the west, NASA said on its website. Lightning from these storms can then spark additional fires. These fire-induced thunderstorms have pushed the smoke to the stratosphere, allowing it to travel much further and affect atmospheric conditions around the world.
New Zealand is now receiving the brunt of this smoke, which is causing severe air quality issues and even darkening snow on the country's mountaintops.More news: Spotify Expands Target Audience To Pets In New PR Stunt
As of January 8, NASA stated that this risky smoke had already made it halfway around the world.
NASA's illustration showing smoke and dust movement away from Australia.
The government insists there is no direct link between climate change and the fires that have killed at least 28 people, destroyed 2,000 homes and razed 11.2 million hectares (27.7 million acres).
Colin Seftor, research scientist at Goddard said, "The UV index has a characteristic that is particularly well suited for identifying and tracking smoke from pyroCb events: the higher the smoke plume, the larger the aerosol index value".More news: Disney appears to be cracking down on Baby Yoda knockoffs
NASA's satellite instruments are often the first to detect wildfires burning in remote regions, and the locations of new fires are sent directly to land managers worldwide within hours of the satellite overpass.