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Smoke from forest fires in Canada reaches Norway

Illustrative photo: Colourbox

The atmosphere and climate scientists at NILU have used the model FLEXPART in forecast mode to predict how the smoke from the wildfires in Canada will move through the atmosphere.

As the video below shows, the smoke has moved over Greenland and Iceland since 1 June before it reaches Norway today. The model is confirmed with observations in southern Norway (Birkenes Observatory) with increasing concentrations of aerosols.

“We may be able to see some haze or smell smoke”, says senior scientist Nikolaos Evangeliou. “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. In addition, smoke and soot particles from forest fires can float through the atmosphere and settle on ice and snow-covered surfaces on, for example, the Greenland ice sheet. There, they can contribute to making the surface darker, so that it absorbs solar radiation to a greater extent and contribute to warming the atmosphere.

This effect is an important 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.