Extensive forest fires in Eastern Russia have been sending large volumes of smoke into the
atmosphere over the Sea of Okhotsk and Kamchatka Peninsula. The smoke (greyish pixels) is easy to see in this SeaWiFS image against the relatively dark background of the northwestern Pacific Ocean. The smoke pall covered about 6 million square kilometers (about two million square miles) of sea surface on May 17 and 18, 2002.
One of the source areas for the smoke is visible as a large, off-white cloud near the center left side of the May 17 scene. In the clear air between the smoke and clouds (brighter white pixels), a colorful phytoplankton bloom (dark green pixels) can be seen on both sides of the Kamchatka Peninsula.
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.