Black carbon is streaming across North America Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory shows shows the concentration of black carbon particulates, or soot, over North America on July 21, 2021. The smoke from fires burning in central and western North America continues to spread across the continent. North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea, and to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean. Because it is on the North American Tectonic Plate, Greenland is included as part of North America geographically. North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers (9,540,000 square miles), about 16.5% of the Earth’s land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third-largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, and the fourth by population after Asia, Africa, and Europe.
According to NASA, skies have turned hazy in cities ranging from Boston to Washington, D.C., while smoke from fires in Canada’s Manitoba and Ontario provinces is pouring into the U.S. Northeast. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the U.S. federal government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and space research.
The black carbon data is obtained from the GEOS forward processing (GEOS-FP) model, which combines observations from satellite, aircraft, and ground-based systems.
Thick plumes of black carbon can be seen streaming from clusters of fires in British Columbia, Oregon, Washington, and California.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory