PyroCBs: Ominous Clouds You Should Know About, Part 2

The smoke plume (gray) is feeding the pyrocumulonimbus cloud (white). “PyroCb are like large chimneys, transporting a large quantity of smoke into the stratosphere,” explained Dr. David Peterson. When smoke reaches the stratosphere, it tends to spread globally and remain high in the atmosphere for longer periods—months or even years—than smoke that stays in the lower troposphere. Taken on August 8, 2019 during airborne data sampling. Photo credit: David A. Peterson, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
Even though the recent news is focusing on towering clouds called pyrocumulonimbus (pyroCBs) coming from wildfires in the western U.S., wildfires in Canada and Australian have generated tremendous pyroCB events with global implications. For instance, an intense, multi-day outbreak of fire-induced...

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