Health Alert: “Smoke Waves” Threaten the Western United States.

Persistent smoke waves from wildfires may increase in the future. Investigators examined levels of fine particulate matter in 16 Western states from 2004 to 2009 and estimated that incidents of two or more days of high pollution from wildfires will grow by 57% in frequency and 31% in intensity over the next 40 years. As a result, the smoke-wave season will likely lengthen by about 15 days in nearly two-thirds of the regions assessed. Study author Dr. Jia Coco Liu adds, “More people in the Western [United States] are likely to experience high-pollution episodes from wildfires, and the pollution episodes are likely to be more frequent, last longer, and be more intense.”
Climatic Change, July 2016

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