The European Atmospheric Monitoring Agency, Copernicus, announced that the smoke from the fires sweeping across the western regions of the United States of America reaches Europe, noting that these fires are tens to hundreds of times more intense than the rate recorded in the past 15 years.
Agence France-Presse quoted Mark Barrington, a scientist at the agency, as saying in a statement today: “We monitor, through satellites, the size of the fires and smoke pollution that travels through the United States and abroad, and the data indicates that the activity of these unprecedented fires this year is tens to hundreds of times more intense than The average of the period between 2003 and 2019 across the United States as well as in many affected states.
Barrington indicated that these fires emit pollution in the atmosphere so great that we see dense smoke at a distance of eight thousand kilometers, and this reflects the extent of their destruction in terms of size and duration.
According to Barrington, the California and Oregon fires released into the atmosphere "a much greater amount of carbon in 2020 than what was recorded in any other year since the administration began measuring carbon in 2003." He explained that this amount amounted to 21.7 megatons in California and 7.3 megatons in Oregon. The thick smoke also spread to Europe.
Satellite images show that the smoke has remained off the coast of the United States on the Pacific Ocean for several days due to weather conditions, but the winds have pushed it back towards North America in recent days.
The fires have destroyed more than two million hectares of vegetation since mid-August from the Canadian border to the Mexican border, and scientists are unanimous that the exceptional size of forest fires is linked to climate change that exacerbates chronic drought and causes harsh climatic conditions.