Study links air pollution levels with summer

A report has concluded that bushfire smoke that has blanketed much of the Pacific Northwest in recent years caused a new rise in unhealthy air pollutants last August.

The research, led by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and published in Nature Communications Tuesday, reveals an upward new sign in harmful pollutants being pumped into the air from ongoing, intense fire activity.

The researchers studied 16 years of satellite-based carbon monoxide data and global fire inventories, focusing on the period from 2002 to 2018.

And levels of carbon monoxide – a footprint gas from fires, which acts as an indicator of the presence of more harmful pollutants such as aerosols and ground-level ozone – usually diminish in the hot summer months, due to chemical reactions in the atmosphere linked to changes in sunlight, according to the new study. But the researchers found a deviation from this trend, with carbon monoxide levels increasing sharply as western fires became more active from 2012 to 2018.

“Bushfire emissions have increased so dramatically that they are changing the annual pattern of air quality across North America,” Rebecca Buchholz, a National Center for Agricultural Research scientist and lead author of the report, said in a statement. didn’t exist before.”

The epidemiological restrictions of the Corona pandemic led to a decrease in the use of fossil fuels, which led to a decrease in emissions. Harmful and harmful to the lungs are about 30 times smaller than a strand of human hair – at 7% in 2020, it was the worst bushfire season on record.

Moreover, the new study highlights how air pollution can threaten the health of millions of people. Researchers compared death rates from respiratory disease in Colorado over two six-year periods, from 2002 to 2011, and from 2012 to 2018, and found that More people died from 2012 to 2018, when flames far away in the Pacific Northwest — not caused by the Colorado fires — blanketed the air. Exposure to wildfire smoke has been linked to significant respiratory problems and pregnancy complications.

“There is clearly a need for more research into the health effects of all this smoke,” Buchholz said in a statement. “We may already be seeing the consequences of these fires on the health of residents who live hundreds or even thousands of miles downwind.”

A growing body of research is emphasizing the dangers and reality of wildfires in an increasingly warming world. For example, a report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released last year found that lengths of fire seasons have increased by nearly 20% since the 1980s.

Another United Nations report released in March suggests that the number of wildfires worldwide could increase by up to 14% by 2030, 30% by 2050, and 50% by 2100.

By Editor

Leave a Reply