The orange New York skyline does not make for a pretty Instagram photo

GJune 2023, his sky New York it is painted orange and hundreds of images follow each other on the web, eventually attracting the curious but superficial gaze of the world. An unprecedented sight for some, something to capture forever on your camera for others. Something really serious for almost no one

Drought and abnormal heat have been affecting the country for months Canada leading him to witness violent fires. However, none of these were enough to capture the attention of a distracted audience as much as, say, a time-lapse video of smoke completely engulfing the New York City skyline and the World Trade Center.

So what’s really behind the orange sky and how does it all have to do with climate change? Meanwhile, many historically climate-change-denying media outlets play it down.

But let’s examine the picture of the situation.

In Canada, wildfires are common enough, especially in the western provinces of the country, to the point that they have coined the term: “fire”, which this year was launched as “unprecedented” by the BBC.

The causes are usually natural in the case of lightning or man-made when we talk about the human hand, for responsibility equal to 50% each. This year the novelty was the opening of new fronts from the flames, which spread to the eastern provinces of Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia.

This led to impressive numbers read in the newspapers:

  • 110 million people on air quality alert
  • More than 400 fires across Canada, 248 of which are out of control

By early spring alone, more than 160 fires had already burned more than 3.3 million hectares of land, 12 times more than the ten-year average for this period.

How does this relate to climate change?

IPCC experts in the 2021 report highlighted how higher temperatures and droughts, caused in turn by excess greenhouse gases, can increase the frequency and intensity of certain events, including wildfires. Drought in this case generally leads to a rather rapid spread of flames.

Analyzing what happened in Canada, we find exactly what the scientists explained to us.

  • In May, Alberta recorded +6 degrees above average
  • Atlantic Canada’s region has been in drought since at least February, and by the end of April, 49% of the land was labeled “abnormally dry” by the government.

That’s how you explain it Orange sky of New York and many other American cities. Unfortunately, there is very little that is romantic and a lot that is disturbing

In fact, not only the Big Apple but also Philadelphia it’s code red, at least according to Philadelphia Public Health in a tweet on Twitter! As for some cities between Canada and the US, they recorded the worst air quality in the world.

New York exceeded the PM2.5 level considered normal by the WHO by 20 times, and Philadelphia entered the ranking of IQAir, the famous Swiss air quality company, with 340 points. The threshold for air to be considered “good” is 50.

Faced with all of this, however, as always, we stop to take just one snapshot of a particularly Instagrammable skyline, and the next moment we’re back to doing something else, never questioning what’s behind it.

Federica Gasbarro works with The Wom independently and is in no way associated with the advertisements that may appear in this content.

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