Fig. 1: Time evolution of the smoke clouds as observed by TROPOMI satellite instrument. | Communications Earth & Environment

Fig. 1: Time evolution of the smoke clouds as observed by TROPOMI satellite instrument.

From: The 2019/20 Australian wildfires generated a persistent smoke-charged vortex rising up to 35 km altitude

Fig. 1

a Time evolution of the total surface covered by the aerosol plumes with Absorbing Aerosol Index AAI>3 over the southern hemisphere. This threshold is chosen to follow the evolution of the main plume that was characterized by values of AI up to 10. The plumes show a sharp gradient in AI at the borders, where the AI value rapidly decreases, allowing to clearly define the boundaries of the aerosol cloud. b 95th percentile of the aerosol close to the Eastern Australian coastal region (150°–155 E 20°–40° S) where the extreme PyroCb activity took place. The main aerosol injections occurred between 30 and 31 December 2019, producing a plume that reached a first maximal spatial extension on the 2 January 2020, and between 4 and 5 January, when a second event produced an additional aerosol cloud that, combined with the first one, caused a total absorbing aerosol coverage that reached a maximum of 6 millions km2 of extension on the 7 January. The plumes then gradually dissipated and diluted, decreasing in their AI values, until the third week of January, when the AI signal from the aerosol clouds is no more visible by TROPOMI, with the exception of few bubbles of confined aerosol (see next sections).

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