The George Washington Bridge disappears in smoke from a fire in Canada
New York’s air quality remains in the “very unhealthy” category as more thick smoke pours south from devastating wildfires in Canada.
With no end in sight to the fires in Quebec, experts say the pollution could last into Thursday and possibly into the weekend.
The Big Apple was blanketed in a sci-fi orange glow the past few days as schools across the East Coast canceled outdoor activities, Broadway shows were canceled and airplane flights were grounded.
New York City continues to have the worst air quality among major cities worldwide on the Air Quality Index (AQI). At one stage, levels went above 350, said to be “dangerous”.
At least 13 US states have issued air quality warnings in places, affecting about 115 million people.
The entire Northeast coast is battling smoke drifting south from more than 400 wildfires raging across Canada that have prompted mass evacuations in the province of Quebec.
Canadian officials have warned that this could be the country’s worst wildfire season on record, with more than 6.7 million hectares already burned.
New York is giving away 1m N95 masks, they ask that smoke problems continue
New York City officials will distribute one million masks in the coming days as fire smoke continues to pose a health risk.
Here’s more information from Governor Kathy Hochul.
Josh MarcusJune 8, 2023 10:10 am
Meanwhile in Hawaii
New York is not the only place facing a major environmental challenge.
The US Geological Survey recorded the drama of the eruption in the crater of the Halema’uma’u volcano, where lava jumped into the air from the upper part of the mountain.
The agency announced that the eruption did not pose a danger to the public and stated that the lava was not ejected beyond the bottom of the crater. The volcano alert was raised to red, noting that ash from the disturbance could pose a risk to aviators.
Graig Graziosi it has a story.
Josh MarcusJune 8, 2023 09:50
Why are fires raging in Canada?
Canada is dealing with a series of intense wildfires that have spread from the western provinces to Quebec, with hundreds of wildfires burning.
The smoke has traveled to the United States, resulting in numerous air quality alerts issued since May.
While it is not unusual for Canada to suffer wildfires, this year has turned out to be the worst on record for the country. Scientists say that the climate crisis makes such phenomena more frequent and more intense.
Scott Duncan, a meteorologist based in London, said the “extreme and prolonged hot and dry conditions in Canada” had made the fires rage “without effort”.
“In May, Canada was at the epicenter of the most significant thermal anomaly on the planet,” he pointed out.
Last month was the second warmest May on record for global average temperature. So far this year, large parts of Asia, Europe and the Americas have suffered an unusually early heat wave that scientists have attributed to the climate crisis.
Here’s a summary of what’s causing fires in Canada, what’s being assessed, and some suggested precautions:
Stuti Mishra8 June 2023 09:30
An apocalyptic time-lapse shows New York disappearing in orange smoke from a wildfire in Canada
An apocalyptic time-lapse shows New York disappearing in orange smoke from a wildfire in Canada
Stuti Mishra8 June 2023 09:10
AOC and Bernie Sanders warn that smoke from fires in Canada is a sign of climate crisis disaster to come
“It’s important to reiterate how unprepared we are for the climate crisis,” New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, citing the smoke and recent high temperatures in Puerto Rico. “We need to adapt our food systems, energy networks, infrastructure, health care, etc. as soon as possible. to prepare for what is coming and catch up with what is already here.”
Fellow progressive Bernie Sanders sounded similar, writing on Twitter: “Currently 98 MILLION people on the east coast are under air quality warnings due to wildfires in Canada and last night NYC had the worst air quality in the world.”
More details in our full story.
Josh Marcus8 June 2023 08:50
Understanding air quality warnings: What does ‘hazardous’ air mean?
As smoke from wildfires in eastern Canada engulfs the US East Coast, “hazardous” air quality warnings have been issued for some areas. But what exactly do “code red”, “very unhealthy” or “dangerous” warnings mean?
The Air Quality Index (AQI), featured on the Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNow website, uses a color-coded system to rank air quality on a 500-point scale, providing the public with an easy-to-understand assessment of the health effects of ambient air.
The lower end of the scale, which is green, represents healthy air, while the higher ends, labeled red, purple, and maroon, represent dangerous and extremely unhealthy conditions.
Currently, New York’s air quality falls into the purple category, indicating hazardous conditions.
The AQI takes into account some key measures of air pollution, such as particulate matter, ground-level ozone, and gases such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. With wildfire smoke flowing out of Canada, these dangerous gases have increased in the atmosphere, especially fine particles called PM2.5, which are pollutants.
These pollutants can have a variety of health effects, often leading to irritation of the respiratory system, inflammation and the potential development of conditions such as asthma and heart disease.
Scale levels are determined by the concentration of a pollutant in the air, measured in parts per million, over specific periods of time – usually an hour, eight or 24 hours, depending on the pollutant.
While an AQI of orange was unhealthy for vulnerable individuals, an AQI level of red is considered unhealthy for all individuals, and purple is considered “dangerous” for everyone.
There are various health advisories urging residents to limit outdoor activities and wear masks specifically designed to filter fine particles, such as N95 masks.
Stuti Mishra8 June 2023 08:35
Canadian fire evacuees ‘will not be able to return to their homes until next week’
Thousands of residents in Canada remain displaced from their homes as wildfires continue to wreak havoc in what has emerged as the country’s “worst fire season ever.”
The current number stands at more than 20,000 evacuees, with roughly 11,400 coming from remote regions in northern Quebec, as authorities fear the number is expected to rise as the fires quickly spread.
At a press conference Wednesday, Quebec Premier Francois Legault said evacuees will not be able to return to their communities until next week, CBC news reported.
Legault said dry weather and high winds are creating dangerous conditions and thick smoke in areas that have been evacuated so far.
Stuti Mishra8 June 2023 08:10
Wildfires ground flights based in New York
Federal authorities have temporarily suspended flights at New York’s LaGuardia Airport “due to low visibility” due to smoke choking the East Coast.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, departures were suspended until 2:00 p.m. ET on June 7. The agency also delayed flights from the upper Midwest and East Coast to LaGuardia.
Newark Liberty International Airport, another nearby major tourist hub, also announced delays on the ground. The airport said “current smoke conditions” may affect flights and urged travelers to check with their airlines “to determine the status of your flight.”
Wind patterns bringing smoke across the Northeast “could affect travel through airports,” FAA Air Traffic Management Officer Samuel Ausby said. More than 16,200 flights were delayed and 79 flights were canceled by 1 p.m. Wednesday, according to FlightAware.
Alex Woodward it has details.
Josh Marcus8 June 2023 07:50
All the dos and don’ts to protect yourself from forest smoke
As the wildfires continue to rage, air quality in New York is expected to remain poor for several more days, according to forecasters. But amid the ongoing climate crisis, many climate scientists warn that wildfires could become more frequent and intense, leading to more air pollution.
Many officials urged people to limit their time outdoors and wear masks to protect themselves from the smoke. In fact, forest fire smoke carries a number of pollutants that can pose numerous risks and dangerous effects.
My colleague Meredith Clark has this list of dos and don’ts to stay safe during a Code Red air quality warning.
Stuti Mishra8 June 2023 07:33
How long will air pollution last in New York?
New York City has been shrouded in thick smoke for the past two days, and air quality continues to decline, prompting health warnings across the northeastern United States.
However, there still appears to be no end in sight as the weather systems are expected to barely budge.
A blanket of smoke billowing from wildfires in Quebec and Nova Scotia and sending plumes of fine particles as far as North Carolina could linger into Thursday and possibly into the weekend, experts said.
That means at least one more day, or more, of the dystopian-style detours that have driven dancers off playgrounds, actors off Broadway stages, delayed thousands of flights and sparked a resurgence of mask-wearing and remote work — all while raising health concerns about the effects of prolonged exposure. such bad air.
The weather system spewing the great Canadian-American smoke — a low-pressure system over Maine and Nova Scotia — “is likely to hang around for at least the next few days,” said US National Weather Service meteorologist Bryan Ramsey.
“Because the fires are raging — they’re really big — they’re likely to last for weeks. But really it will all be about the changing of the wind.”
The Independent‘senior climate correspondent Louise Boyle has this wildfire smoke tracker where you can check where the pollution is moving next:
Stuti MishraJune 8, 2023 07:00