Between September 2019 and March 2020, wildfires killed billions of animals and decimated more than 200 thousand square kilometers of Australian forest, an area larger than Nebraska. Later, thousands of kilometers away in the Southern Ocean, massive algae blooms covered a surface larger than the area of Australia itself. The connection between these major wildfires and the subsequent explosion of phytoplankton production is an example of the events NASA’s upcoming Plankton, Aerosols, Clouds, and ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission will help investigate. PACE’s suite of instruments will allow scientists to get a clearer picture of carbon as it links land use and fires, atmospheric aerosols and marine communities, and ultimately improves those uncertain the data we put into climate models.

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Music: “On the Trail,” “Idle at Midnight,” “Synthetic Comfort,” Universal Production