Smoke from Australia’s fires will make ‘full circuit’ around the world

NSW's National Parks and Wildlife Service staff dropping the vegetables from a helicopter

The co-founder of the award-winning science website said the brown skies over Sydney in recent days was a result of human-caused climate change led by record heat and an unprecedented drought.

Exhausted firefighters said they had finally brought Australia's largest "megablaze" under control yesterday, as wet weather promised to deliver much-needed respite for a countryside ravaged by bushfires.

The New South Wales Rural Fire Service confirmed on Monday that there were still 105 bush and grass fires burning across the region - 38 of which were not yet contained.

NSW water authorities have also raised concerns that strong and erratic rainfall after fires can cause water pollution, with debris sweeping into reservoirs.

According to NASA scientists, the smoke from fires in Australia is expected to form at least one "full cycle" around the globe and return to the sky over the country.

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.

Science Minister Karen Andrews was to meet with scientists, researchers and bushfire experts Wednesday to address the fire disaster.

Scientists have warned that such catastrophic forest fires could become "normal" in the future, which is exacerbated by the effects of climate change.

"It really is time for everyone to move on and to look at what we're going to do". So much so that the smoke produced by this fire is nearly unprecedented.

More than a billion animals are feared dead in Australia's bushfires, potentially driving more than 700 animal species to extinction.

Sheep graze in a field shrouded with smoke haze near at Burragate, Australia. Today, tennis player Dalila Jakupovic quit the Australian open after experiencing a coughing fit induced by the smoke-filled air, NBC reported.

"Conditions at Melbourne Park are being constantly monitored", Tennis Australia said.

Observation data suggest that extreme fire weather in Australia is already becoming "more frequent and intense", with similar effects expected in different parts of the world in the coming years.

"There is also a clear emotional toll, and the distressing images of dead and injured wildlife and charred forests have left most Australians anxious that the bush will never be the same again".

Professor Iain Colin Prentice, Chair of Biosphere and Climate Impacts and Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society, Imperial College London, added: "Wildfires can't be prevented, and the risks are increasing because of climate change".

Mann, the recipient of last year's Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, is on a sabbatical in Australia where he is studying climate change.



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