Madrid / The smoke from the fires in California (USA), which has been seen these days in the Balearic Islands, although also in other areas of Europe, is not strange, although it is a curiosity, which is due to the size of the fires and the interaction of the high-altitude smoke with the polar jet that travels the planet.
As fires are so powerful, the smoke rises a lot and reaches several kilometers in height, as in this case in which, when interacting with the polar jet that circulates around the planet, it has moved from California to Europe, Juan José explained to EFE Villena, meteorology expert from the Meteored service.
The great plumes of smoke from fires as important as those in California, which have already devastated nearly a million hectares of forested area, “can last a long time floating in the air” and travel thousands and thousands of kilometers around the planet.
These types of forest fires, which also occur elsewhere, are estimated to emit up to three million tons of greenhouse gases throughout the year such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and methane.
In the case of smoke arriving in Europe from California, the concentrations are small, scarce and high, so it does not involve risks, explains the expert.
The smoke from the California fires this summer has reached a tremendous height, predictably on the order of 7 to 10 kilometers and even higher, and “has entered the polar jet, which is a current of air that circulates around the planet from west to west. this to about 250 kilometers per hour more or less ”.
“It is not something strange, but a curiosity” that the smoke has reached Europe, where it has left interesting images “with that grayish appearance” in the sky, for example in Paris, at the Eiffel Tower, and in other parts of the world. center of the continent, also in the British Isles, before reaching the Cantabrian area to be channeled through the Ebro to the Balearic Islands.
It is common for the smoke to travel thousands of kilometers when fires are powerful, he has insisted, as has already happened with those in Siberia, whose smoke was seen in the United States, or those in Australia, which reached points in South America. (September 16, 2020, EFE / PracticaEspañol)
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