"The Emerging Science of Tracing Smoke Back to Wildfires"

"An upcoming study links smoke pollution across the United States to individual wildfires and could help predict which fires will be most harmful to public health."

"As smoke from wildfires crosses state and international borders more frequently, tracking and studying it is increasingly important for shaping air quality and health measures around the world.

An upcoming study from researchers at Stanford University offers a new way to trace far-flung smoke and pollution back to individual wildfires of origin.

What’s burning in a wildfire determines what kind of pollution is in the smoke. A forest fire burns differently from a fire in a swamp, or a fire that burns buildings. As smoke travels, its chemical composition may change with time and distance.

The findings could help officials to determine which wildfires are likely to have the biggest health consequences for the greatest number of people, and to allocate firefighting resources accordingly."

"Delger Erdenesanaa reports for the New York Times June 28, 2023.

Source: NYTimes, 06/29/2023