Wildfire smoke from US stretches to Europe

US Wildfires

Smoke from the severe US wildfires burning across California, Oregon and Washington following recent hot and dry conditions has made its way across the Atlantic Ocean, according to the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), a science agency that is part of the European Commission.

Beginning in California and Colorado in mid-August, the fires spread to Oregon and Washington in early September.

“Such transport of smoke at high altitude from North America to Europe is typically seen once or twice a year with wildfires in British Columbia, not the United States,” Mark Parrington, a Senior Scientist at CAMS, told The Washington Post in an email.

The smoke from the wildfires has been seen in parts of Europe including the Netherlands and Hamburg, Germany, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Washington Post also reports that CAMS satellite data using findings of heat abnormalities shows:

“The ongoing fires across the three western states, have burned more than five million acres in the past two weeks and are burning with a far greater intensity than the 17-year average for wildfires in that three-state region as well as the entire United States.”

At press conference held early this week, California’s Governor Gavin Newsom repeatedly linked the destructive wildfires to the ongoing threat of climate change – confirming that “the facts are the facts.”

The average temperatures between June and September in California – currently fighting 25 different fires in which at least 25 people have died – have increased about 3F in four decades, The Guardian reported.

“The debate is over, around climate change,” Newsom told reporters, according to the BBC. “This is a climate damn emergency. This is real and it’s happening.”

So far, the fast-moving fires sweeping across California, Washington state and Oregon have destroyed a record number of properties and land, wiped out critical populations of endangered species, and at least 34 people have died.

The Los Angeles Times have indicated the fires also destroyed at least 4,200 structures and forced more than 60,000 people from their homes.

Some meteorologists have forecasted that this weather will not improve until October, according to The Hill.

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