See a satellite's 'scary view' of US wildfire smoke and Hurricane Linda

Wildfires in California and Oregon are sending out massive smoke plumes at the same time as a hurricane whirls in the Pacific.

Amanda Kooser
Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.

This cropped version of the ESA Copernicus Sentinal-3 satellite view from Aug. 15 shows Hurricane Linda in the Pacific. The full view also reveals massive wildfire smoke plumes in the US.

Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2021), processed by ESA

It has been another brutal year for wildfires across the globe, from Siberia to Greece to the Western US. The European Space Agency shared a satellite view of a slice of the planet that simultaneously shows smoke plumes from large wildfires in California and Oregon and the tightly curled Hurricane Linda in the Pacific Ocean.

The image comes from ESA's Copernicus Sentinel-3 Earth-monitoring satellite on Sunday. The space agency described the image as a "scary view." Wildfires have burned up huge swaths of the US this year, with the still-raging Dixie fire in California consuming over 550,000 acres so far.

You can see the entire high-res image on the ESA site.

Hurricane Linda has weakened since reaching Category 4 status over the weekend. Linda is an annular hurricane, which means it has a specific structure that shows through in the satellite image. It appears tightly packed with a shape like a truck tire or a doughnut. 

NOAA shared a different view of Linda on Monday that also shows Atlantic storms Fred and Grace.

Extreme weather events -- including drought and intense hurricanes -- have been tied to the planet's worsening climate crisis. A UN climate panel report issued last week brought home the message that human-caused climate change has warmed the planet and is affecting the entire globe.

Satellites help experts track hurricanes and wildfires, but the images also give us a wider visual perspective of our planet, one that reveals the sobering scope of what's happening below.