Smoke from Canadian wildfires forecast to reach Norway

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norwegian officials said the smoke from Canadian wildfires that has enveloped parts of the U.S. and Canada in a thick haze is expected to pour into Norway on Thursday.

Atmosphere and climate scientists with the Norwegian Climate and Environmental Research Institute used a forecast model to predict how the smoke would travel through the atmosphere.

The smoke has moved over Greenland and Iceland since June 1, and observations in southern Norway have recorded increasing concentrations of aerosolized particles, the independent research institution said.

“We may be able to see some haze or smell smoke,” Nikolaos Evangeliou, a senior NILU researcher, said. “However, we do not believe that the number of particles in the air here in Norway will be large enough to be harmful to our health.”

Kjetil Tørseth, research director with NILU, said that with “the increasing temperatures due to climate change, forest fires are likely to be more common and of a larger magnitude.

“So I think these kind of episodes are to be more common in the future. And they do, of course, have an impact on climate,” he told The Associated Press. “We are especially interested to see the effects on the Arctic, where soot deposition onto snow and ice might actually increase the local warming.”

Canada and the east coast of the U.S. have experienced hazardous levels of pollution from the Canadian wildfires, mainly in the eastern province of Quebec. Massive tongues of unhealthy air extended as far as the U.S. Midwest. The smoke has affected millions of people, led to flight delays at major airports, caused the postponement of Major League Baseball games and prompted people to fish out pandemic-era face masks.

Canada has asked for help fighting more than 400 blazes nationwide.