An Early Start to the North American Biomass Burning Season in 2021

The extreme heatwave in in northwestern North America in late June 2021, led to numerous early-season wildfires in Canada and the Northwestern portion of the United States in July 2021. Pollutants emitted by these wildfires contain particulate matter, or aerosols, that can be harmful to human health and these emissions have outpaced recent years. Long-distance transport of these pollutants, as computed by the GEOS FP system, has led to poor air quality that extends to the East coast of the U.S.

Animation: Column burden of carbon monoxide (CO) associated with biomass burning in North America in GEOS FP. CO is used as a proxy to designate to the location and strength of smoke plumes as it is a gaseous substance also emitted from wildfires. Read More.