The smoke from Canada’s devastating wildfires has reached Europe, but the Continent’s skies are unlikely to turn orange as happened in North America.
The bloc’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) said Tuesday that as the fires in Quebec and Ontario have intensified further, they sent a large plume across the Atlantic.
The smoke arrived in Portugal and Spain on Monday and is expected to sweep across Western Europe and the British Isles until at least Thursday.
But scientists said Europeans won’t see their skies turn a dramatic orange — as happened earlier this month in New York and other North American cities — or have to worry about choking on smoke.
“It is important to note that long-range transport of smoke, such as this episode, tend to occur at higher altitudes where the atmospheric lifetime of air pollutants is longer, which means they are manifested more as hazy skies with red/orange sunsets,” CAMS said in an emailed statement.
It added: “Consequently, the predicted smoke transport is not expected to have a significant impact on surface air quality.”
Emission levels from the Canadian fires are off the charts, the agency said, hitting 160 megatons of CO2 since early May. That’s equal to the annual emissions of the Netherlands.
Source : POLITICO