Intense Wildfires Blanket Russia with Smoke
On Wednesday (Aug. 5, 2010) NASA’s Earth Observatory website posted images of the massive smoke cloud over Russia. The BBC reports that thick smoke blanketed much of Russia, including Moscow, forcing people indoors. The smoke is coming from a massive number of wildfires (reports are as many as 520 individual fires as of August 4) raging in western Russia, mainly burning forests and dry peat bogs. Extreme temperatures and drought are blamed for the dry conditions that lead to the fires. The fires, combined with the hot, dry conditions have parched this year’s grain crops, leading to a temporary ban on grain exports from Russia and driving world grain prices to record highs.
The Earth Observatory project also has a special section just for images of the Gulf Oil spill.