Smoke from United States fires can now be felt all the way in Europe. For over a month, firefighters have battled a series of deadly wildfires. The fires have ravaged their way through California, Oregon and Washington.
According to European Union’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, smoke from the fires have now made it across the Atlantic Ocean. The smoke is affecting Europe. So far, the fires have produced more carbon into the air than in any other year. The monitoring service began recording data in 2003.
Smoke from the fires has impacted people’s healths and the environment.
According to recent studies, smoke from the fires can cause havoc on people’s healths. The fires have led to an increase in everything from asthma and strokes to heart attacks and kidney problems. People even thousands of miles away can feel the effects of the traveling smoke particles. Smoke particles have affected areas such as Kansas and Vancouver, Canada.
Tiny particles, known as PM2.5, make up smoke. These have a diameter less than 2.5 micrometers, a hundred times thinner than the human hair. Since the particles are so small, they lodge deep into the lungs and cause severe damage.
According to ABC, smoke has created a hazardous fog on the West Coast. Smoke in the atmosphere is so thick that it cooled record-high temperatures for September by 10 degrees.
The aerosol optical depth measures the rate aerosol particles block sunlight in atmosphere. A level one AOD implies poor air quality and otherwise hazy conditions. So far, the monitoring service said levels have reached seven or above in areas.
“The fact that these fires are emitting so much pollution into the atmosphere that we can still see thick smoke over 8,000 kilometers away reflects just how devastating they have been in their magnitude and duration,” CAMS Senior Scientist Mark Parrington said in a statement.
Dozens of fires continue to burn in the West Coast, and so far millions of acres have been burned across California and Oregon.