Fires in Australia warmed the stratosphere for six months

Wildfires in Australia from December 2019 to January 2020 destroyed trees, bushes and houses in the square

about 5.6 million hectares.The fires were so large that the smoke was seen by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The Australian government estimated that the cost of responding to the fires was approximately $ 103 billion. In a new study, researchers found that black particulate smoke particles entered the stratosphere, causing the temperature to rise.

The stratosphere is about 10 to 50 km fromEarth's surface - notably, it is also the part of the atmosphere that holds the ozone layer. Previous research has shown that in some cases smoke can cool the atmosphere by blocking heat from the Sun. But in some cases, the opposite may happen. If the smoke contains a large amount of solid particles and they are black, then it is able to absorb heat from sunlight and transfer it to the surrounding air.

To calculate how much heat has been absorbedstratosphere, the researchers entered fire data into the Aerosol and Radiation Model for the Atmosphere (CARMA) and the Earth Systems Model (CESM). Both were developed at the University of Colorado and allowed scientists to make predictions about how much heat was captured by particulate matter and its effect on stratospheric temperature. They found that the temperature in the region had risen from 1 to 2 degrees Celsius and remained that way for about six months. The scientists also noted that the smoke particles temporarily increased the size of the ozone hole.

A group of scientists from Jinan University,the University of Colorado at Boulder, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the US National Center for Atmospheric Research published the results of the study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

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