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Wildfire smoke from Australia triggered massive algal blooms in the southern Pacific Ocean

Jan. 2020: Wildfires in Australia have destroyed thousands of homes. (Siobhan Threlfall/AP)
Jan. 2020: Wildfires in Australia have destroyed thousands of homes. (Siobhan Threlfall/AP)

The massive wildfires in Australia that burned from 2019 into 2020 have had impacts far beyond the continent.

Smoke from those fires drifted for thousands of kilometers and spurred the growth of phytoplankton — an algae bloom — in the southern Pacific Ocean. That’s the finding of a new study in the journal Nature.

Here & Now‘s Scott Tong speaks to Nicolas Cassar, professor of biogeochemistry at Duke University, who’s one of the co-authors of that study.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.