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Wildfires have been raging in Canada since the start of the month, and have started to affect the air quality in surrounding areas.

Smoke from forest fires in Canada reaches Norway

Researchers have predicted how the smoke from the wildfires in Canada will move through the atmosphere.

The atmosphere and climate scientists at NILU have used the model FLEXPART in forecast mode to predict the smoke's movement. 

As the video below shows, the smoke has moved over Greenland and Iceland since 1 June. It reached Norway today. The model is confirmed by observations at the Birkenes Observatory in southern Norway. Measuring instruments have detected increasing concentrations of aerosols.

“We may be able to see some haze or smell smoke,” senior scientist Nikolaos Evangeliou says. “However, we do not believe that the number of particles in the air here in Norway will be large enough to be harmful to our health.”

The concentration of smoke particles in the air in the affected areas of North America can certainly be harmful to health. Additionally, smoke and soot particles from forest fires can float through the atmosphere and settle on ice and snow-covered surfaces, such as the Greenland ice sheet. There, they can contribute to darkening the surface, causing it to absorb more solar radiation and contribute to atmospheric warming

This effect is an significant reason why climate and atmospheric scientists monitor particles in the atmosphere at observatories all over the world, including Birkenes in Agder, Zeppelin on Svalbard, and Trollhaugen in Antarctica.

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