Why is the air in New York so orange?

New York City is currently shrouded in thick orange smog, with stage performances canceled and sporting events postponed. It is the result of the Canadian wildfires which have worsened due to the climate crisis.

Tens of millions of people are under an air quality alert in the United States as smoke from Canadian wildfires moves south and blankets New York.

The smog will linger for at least several days, leaving city dwellers in an unhealthy orange haze of smoke and pollution. New York City now has the worst air quality in the world and many live events and sporting matches have been postponed. Jodie Comer had to stop her stage performance in the middle of the show, says she “couldn’t breathe”.

East Coast airports have experienced delays due to limited visibility, and the United States Federal Aviation Administration has suspended all flights into New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport. Flights to LaGuardia Airport and Philadelphia International Airport was also suspended.

New Yorkers have been advised to stay indoors or wear masks if they must venture outside. Exposure to high levels of particulate pollution can affect the lungs and heart, and authorities are particularly concerned about young children, the elderly and people with lung disease.

Wildfires in Canada have spread to the United States since May, affecting Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania, as well as New York. The smoke should last at least a few days.

To blame are the raging fires in Quebec, which are large in scale and relatively close to Rhode Island. They follow the forest fires in Nova Scotia. While fires are commonplace in Canada, US Vice President Kamala Harris has tweeted that they are intensifying due to the climate crisis.

Ralph Hutchinson

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