Round and Round It Goes: Australia's Wildfire CO2 Feedback Loop

The cataclysmic bushfires have released over 400 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, and that plume of smoke is projected to circle around the earth and back.

As the unprecedented bushfires rage on in Australia, pyrocumulonimbus (think terrifying fire-induced thunderstorms) have stirred up a colossal plume of smoke into the atmosphere so large it can be seen from space. Speaking of space, NASA projects that the plume of smoke will do a "full circuit" around the planet's atmosphere before arriving back down under. What goes around comes around?

MIT Technology Review reports that the wildfires have released around 400 million metric tons of CO2, almost as much as the country's annual emissions output from industry and agriculture (around 532 million). It's a sobering reminder of the feedback loops that makes climate change so savage: the more the climate warms, the more fires, the more smoke, the more the climate warms, and so on until the most dire effects of global climate change spiral utterly out of control.

Read more on MIT Technology Review.