Black Summer bushfires triggered Southern Ocean algal blooms bigger than Australia

Black Summer bushfires triggered Southern Ocean algal blooms bigger than Australia

Black Summer bushfires triggered Southern Ocean algal blooms bigger than Australia By science reporter Belinda Smith As Black Summer bushfires devastated huge swathes of south-east Australia, they were seeding new life in the ocean, hundreds of kilometres away. Key points: - The Black Summer bushfires burned 1.8 million hectares across south-east Australia in 2019-20 - Particles of smoke and ash were deposited into the Southern Ocean - Trace metals in the particles triggered widespread algal blooms that subsided in April 2020 Iron-rich ash and smoke dropped from the atmosphere and into the Southern Ocean, fuelling enormous blooms of algae between New Zealand and South America. At their biggest, the blooms covered an area larger than Australia, according to a study published today in Nature. Richard Matear, an oceans and climate …
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