Hazy Skies and Air Quality Concerns: Columbia Faculty Weigh In on Canadian Wildfires

low library orange haze wildfires

This past week, North America, particularly the Northeast, has been shrouded in an orange haze that started from hundreds of wildfires in Canada. And today, Columbia Prepardness issued an Air Quality Alert to members of the Columbia community.

How will this haze impact New York City residents? How should we protect ourselves from the smoke? When will the haze dissipate? Columbia faculty members weigh in on our current situation.

How the Canadian Wildfires Are Impacting Our Air Quality and Why We Should Expect More Days Like These in the Future

Dan Westervelt, an atmospheric scientist at the Columbia Climate School’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and an air pollution advisor to the US State Department, explained how the smoke particles could travel thousands of miles and how we can best protect ourselves from the smoke. (Curbed, June 6, 2023)

Westervelt warned of potential dangers to vulnerable people at this week’s Yankees games. (The Athletic, June 7, 2023)

Jeff Schlegelmilch, director of Columbia Climate School’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness, also noted that our current air quality will be particularly harmful to different populations, like the very old, very young, or people with pre-existing respiratory problems. (NPR, June 6, 2023)

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