Satellite images show smoke has traveled thousands of miles from the fires burning in the Pacific Northwest and California to reach the skies of Greenland. It is expected to continue to move east, and isimpacts of Wildfire season raging in the West could soon be felt across the pond.
Dozens of large forest fires burn across the region from British Columbia to Arizona following a series of record-breaking heat waves that have aggravated the mega-drought. A number of these fires created pyrocumulonimbus clouds reaching thousands of feet in the sky or spat out huge amounts of smoke which were, in turn, swept into the atmosphere. Winds brought smoke to Greenland, with satellite images clearly showing a blue-gray smoke trail extending approximately 2,600 miles (4,184 kilometers) around the northern layer of the globe.
Smoke, Mark Parrington, Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service scientist said on twitter, is expected to reach Iceland, Scotland and Norway in a few days. Smoke is high in the atmosphere, which leads to beautiful sunsets in Greenland and other places under his veil. The Copernicus forecast also shows a large column of carbon monoxide and a cloud of special case superimposed where the smoke emerges from the Canadian coast and heads towards Greenland.
Parrington said in a DM on Twitter that because the smoke hangs tens of thousands of feet in the air, it “is not likely to reach the surface and affect the quality of the air” for locations abroad. The same cannot be said of locations closer to the fires: A number of air quality sensors in the area are showing unhealthy pollution levels on Thursday morning.
Local authorities in states as far from the fires as Minnesota have issued an air quality alert due to smoke from forest fires in Canada. The national meteorological service also Posted air quality warnings related to smoke from forest fires on Wednesday for Washington, Idaho, Minnesota, Colorado, Oregon, while warning that smoke was also present in California, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, in Utah, Arizona and parts of New Mexico and Texas.
“It’s an irritant to the respiratory tract. There are small particles in the smoke that could enter the airways and irritate them, ”said Dr Lori Shoman, respiratory therapist. told the AP. “Anyone who suffers from shortness of breath should be aware of the outside conditions before going out and watch what they are feeling. If they develop symptoms of shortness of breath or a sore throat and have trouble breathing, consider going inside and breathing cleaner air.
There are currently 68 large fires in 12 states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. These fires burned over a million acres. In British Columbia, there are more than 300 active wildfires burning, according to provincial ministry government. the mega-drought engulfing much of the West coupled with cascading heat waves means the western US and Canada could experience one of their worst fire seasons on record.
“As you go out there today, adjust your reality,” Al Lawson, an incident commander in Oregon, tell the crews Tuesday is preparing to go fight the state’s Bootleg Fire, which has burned more than 200,000 acres and is only 5% content. “We haven’t seen a fire move like that, under these conditions, so early in the year. Expect the fire to do things you have never seen before.
This power lines threatened by fire that hooked up the Oregon and California grids over the weekend, just as a heat wave tied a all-time record for the hottest temperature reliably recorded on Earth in the Valley of Death. These types of aggravating disasters are increasingly common due to the climate crisis. Researchers found carbon pollution triggered the Pacific Northwest heat wave that helped fuel many of these fires 150 times more likely.
The satellite images are reminiscent of those seen during the 2019-2020 bushfire season in Australia. The monster fires sent smoke across the Pacific to South America, and finally, the the smoke has formed a ring throughout the southern hemisphere. Along the way, the soot that fell from the atmosphere darkens the New Zealand Alps, which probably accelerated the melting of snow and glaciers. A similar risk exists for parts of Greenland as well as for snow and ice in other places.
The smoke from these fires also left Australia with a medical bill estimated at $ 1.5 billion due to hospital visits, death and other public health issues. Although the West has yet to reach 2019-2020 bushfire disaster levels, the wildfire season continues to intensify. And unfortunately, another heat wave is on its way.