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Air quality today: New York pollution to remain hazardous as no end in sight for Canadian wildfire smoke

George Washington Bridge disappears under smoke from Canadian wildfires

New York City’s air quality remains at “very unhealthy” levels as denser smoke from the devastating wildfires in Canada drifts south.

Quebec’s wildfires show no sign of ending, experts say pollution could linger into Thursday and possibly into the weekend.

The Big Apple has been enveloped in a sci-fi-like orange glow for the past few days as schools across the East Coast cancel outdoor activities, Broadway shows are cancelled, and concerts are canceled. Airline flights are suspended.

New York continues to have the worst air quality of any major global city on the Air Quality Index (AQI). At one stage, levels exceeded 350, considered “dangerous”.

At least 13 US states there are air quality warnings issued in placesaffects about 115 million people.

The entire northeast coast battles smoke moving south from more than 400 wildfires raging in Canada, leading to mass evacuations in the province of Quebec.

Canadian officials warn that this could be the country’s worst wildfire season on record, with more than 6.7 million acres already burned.


Why are wildfires raging in Canada?

Canada is dealing with a series of raging wildfires spreading from the western provinces to Quebec, with hundreds of wildfires breaking out.

The smoke has entered the United States, leading to several air quality warnings in place since May.

While it’s not uncommon for Canada to experience wildfires, this year turned out to be the worst year on record for the country. Scientists say the climate crisis is making such phenomena more frequent and intense.

Scott Duncan, a meteorologist in London, said “extremely hot and dry conditions in Canada” had made “rapid bushfires” difficult.

“Canada was the epicenter of the most severe heat abnormality on the planet in May,” he noted.

Last month was the second warmest May on record for the global average temperature. So far this year, much of Asia, Europe and the Americas has been hit by an unusually early heat wave that scientists attribute to the climate crisis.

Here is a summary of what caused the wildfires in Canada, what is being assessed, and some suggested precautions:

Stuti MishraJune 8, 2023 09:30


Apocalyptic time-lapse shows New York disappearing in orange smoke from Canadian wildfires

Apocalyptic time-lapse shows New York disappearing in orange smoke from Canadian wildfires

Stuti MishraJune 8, 2023 09:10


AOC and Bernie Sanders warn that wildfire smoke in Canada is a sign of impending climate crisis disaster

New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Written on Twitter on Wednesday, referring to the smoke and recent high temperatures in Puerto Rico. “We have to adapt our food systems, energy grids, infrastructure, healthcare, etc. as soon as possible to prepare for what is to come and catch up to what is already here.”

Progressive colleague Bernie Sanders also had a similar note, write On Twitter: “Currently, 98 MILLION people on the East Coast are on air quality warnings due to the fires in Canada and last night NYC had the worst air quality in the world.”

More details in our full story.

Josh MarcusJune 8, 2023 08:50


Understanding Air Quality warnings: What does ‘dangerous’ air mean?

As smoke from wildfires in eastern Canada engulfed the US East Coast, “dangerous” air quality warnings were issued in some areas. But what exactly do “code red”, “very unhealthy” or “dangerous” warnings signify?

The Air Quality Index (AQI), presented on the Environmental Protection Agency AirNow websiteuses a color-coding system to rank air quality on a 500-point scale, providing the public with an easy-to-understand assessment of the health impacts of ambient air.

The lower end of the scale, colored green, represents fresh air, while the upper end, color coded red, purple and dark brown, represents hazardous and extremely unhealthy conditions. health.

Currently, New York City’s air quality is purple, indicating hazardous.

New York’s air pollution levels rank in the purple category as ‘dangerous’


The AQI takes into account several key measures of air pollution, such as particulate pollution, terrestrial ozone, and gases such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. With wildfire smoke spreading from Canada, these dangerous gases have risen in the atmosphere, especially fine particulate matter called PM2.5, which is a pollutant.

These pollutants can have a wide range of health effects, often leading to respiratory system irritation, inflammation, and the potential to develop conditions like asthma and heart disease.

Scale levels are determined based on the concentration of a pollutant in the air, measured in parts per million, over a specific time period – usually one hour, eight hours or 24 hours, depending on the pollutant.

While orange AQI isn’t good for vulnerable people, red AQI levels are considered bad for everyone, while purple is considered “dangerous” for everyone.

There are many health recommendations that encourage residents to limit outdoor activities and wear masks specifically designed to filter fine particles, such as N95 respirators.

Stuti MishraJune 8, 2023 08:35


Canadian wildfire evacuees ‘won’t be able to return home until next week’

Thousands of residents in Canada are still displaced from their homes as raging wildfires continue to wreak havoc in what has turned out to be the country’s “worst wildfire season ever”. .

The current toll is more than 20,000 evacuees, with about 11,400 individuals arriving from remote areas in northern Quebec as authorities fear the number is expected to rise as the fires rapidly expand limit.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Quebec Prime Minister Francois Legault said evacuees would not be able to return to their communities until next week, CBC news reported.

Mr Legault said dry weather and strong winds were creating dangerous conditions and thick smoke in areas that had been evacuated so far.

I want us to be realistic and not have pink glasses. We won’t have any rain for the next few days.

Québec Prime Minister Francois Legault

Stuti MishraJune 8, 2023 08:10


Wildfires cancel New York-based flights

Federal authorities have temporarily grounded flights at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport “due to limited visibility” due to wildfire smoke blanketing the East Coast.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, departures are delayed until 2 p.m. ET on June 7. The agency has also delayed flights from the upper midwest over the US and on the East Coast to LaGuardia.

Newark Liberty International Airport, another major tourist hub nearby, also announced the delay. The airport has announced that “current smoke conditions” may affect flights and urged travelers to check with their airlines “to determine the status of your flight”.

According to FAA traffic manager Samuel Ausby, wind patterns carrying smoke across the northeast “could affect movement through airports”. More than 16,200 flights were delayed and 79 flights were canceled before 1pm on Wednesday, according to Flight knowledge.

Alex Woodward there are details.

Josh MarcusJune 8, 2023 07:50


All do’s and don’ts to stay safe from wildfire smoke

As the wildfires continue to rage, New York’s air quality is expected to get even worse over the next few days, according to forecasters. more air pollution.

Many officials have urged people to limit going outdoors and wear masks to protect themselves from the smoke. In fact, wildfire smoke carries a number of pollutants that can pose a number of risks and dangerous effects.

My colleagues Meredith Clark has the following list of do’s and don’ts to help keep yourself safe during Red Rule air quality warnings.

Stuti MishraJune 8, 2023 07:33


How long will air pollution in New York last?

New York City has been enveloped in thick smoke for the past two days with air quality continuing to plummet prompting health warnings across the Northeast United States.

However, there seems to be no end in sight as the weather system is expected to be difficult to change.

The plume of smoke rising from the wildfires in Quebec and Nova Scotia and sending plumes of fine dust as far as North Carolina could last through Thursday and possibly the weekend, experts say know.

That means for at least another day, or more, an old-fashioned detour that has kicked players off the field, cast actors off Broadway, delayed thousands of flights, and ignited the trend towards wearing masks and working remotely – all of which raise concerns about the health effects of long-term exposure to such bad air.

The weather system that is pushing out the Canadian-American haze — a low-pressure system in Maine and Nova Scotia — “will likely persist for the next few days at least,” said the agency’s meteorologist Bryan Ramsey. US National Weather said.

Conditions are likely to remain unhealthy, at least until the wind direction changes or the fire is extinguished.

Bryan Ramsey, meteorologist with the US National Weather Service

“Because the fires are raging — they’re huge — they’re likely to go on for weeks. But it’s really just about the change of the wind.

independenceSenior climate reporter Louise Boyle there’s this wildfire smoke tracker where you can check where pollution is going next:

Stuti MishraJune 8, 2023 07:00


Video: The George Washington Bridge disappears under smoke from the Canada Wildfires

George Washington Bridge disappears under smoke from Canadian wildfires

Stuti MishraJune 8, 2023 06:36


Pollution in New York soars as wildfire smoke continues

New York air quality improved slightly on June 7 but rapidly deteriorated in the afternoon, reaching an air quality index of more than 400 in some parts of the city – the worst globally – and about 58 times more than the World Health Organization guidelines.

The federal government’s Air Quality Index considers anything above 300 to be “dangerous”. For comparison, the index over the weekend was 20.

Josh MarcusJune 8, 2023 05:50


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