Air quality is worsening across the Midwest due to Canadian wildfire smoke

Smoke from wildfires in Canada is deteriorating air quality in the Midwest, resulting in some of the worst air quality worldwide.

Current situation: The Midwest of the U.S. is heavily impacted by Canadian wildfire smoke, decreasing air quality and visibility.
* Major cities such as Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Pittsburgh are experiencing “very unhealthy” air quality levels.
* The National Weather Service anticipates that this poor air quality could persist for a few days, but the forecast can change.

Geographical impact: The smoke is affecting several regions across the United States.
* Areas impacted include the Mississippi Valley, the Great Lakes, the Western Ohio Valley, the Central Appalachians, and the Mid-Atlantic.

Recommended actions: In such poor air quality, experts suggest certain measures to ensure safety.
* Recommendations include staying indoors as much as possible, wearing an N95 or similar respirator outside, and limiting strenuous activity.

Root cause: The increase in wildfire frequency and intensity is linked to climate change, a trend observed both in the U.S and globally.
* Studies show wildfires in the U.S. are growing more frequent, lasting longer, and increasing in size, partly due to climate change.
* The United Nations reports similar trends globally.

Canada’s wildfire crisis: Canada’s severe wildfire season has resulted in numerous uncontrollable blazes, challenging its firefighting resources and impacting air quality in the U.S.
* Currently, there are approximately 480 active fires in Canada, breaking the record for the most destructive fire season in the country’s history.
* Smoke from these intense fires has even reached Europe, affecting parts of Portugal, Spain, and France, but it’s not expected to impact human health there as much as in the U.S.

View original article on NPR

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