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Better air in Beijing than San Francisco

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The ongoing forest fires on the US west coast give the region the world’s worst air quality.

Smoke and dust from the enormous fires in the US states of California, Oregon and Washington covers large areas and gives hazardous air quality in the region. The satellite images capture pretty well what is going on.

sentinel-5P Aerosol index
Aerosol index mapped from data sourced from ESA Copernicus Sentinel-5P.

Air pollution levels in West Coast cities soar toward hazardous levels

We have taken a look at air quality measured Seattle, Eugene and San Francisco the last month. It comes as no surprise that the air is poor, to the extremes for cities like Eugene in Oregon.

Seattle air qualiy forest fires
PM2.5 daily averages, unit µg/m3. Dashed black line marks average for the period. Data sourced from OpenAQ.org.
San Francisco aq
PM2.5 daily averages, unit µg/m3. Dashed black line marks average for the period. Data sourced from OpenAQ.org.
Eugene OR air quality
PM2.5 daily averages, unit µg/m3. Dashed black line marks average for the period. Data sourced from OpenAQ.org.

Last week, you’d rather breathe Delhi air than take a stroll in San Francisco

The Asian cities infamous for poor air quality actually fare better the last 30 days than the American cities above. We should note that particularly Delhi sees unhealthy air quality throughout most of the year, whereas in the US the air quality normally is at much healther levels.

Beijing aq
PM2.5 daily averages, unit µg/m3. Dashed black line marks average for the period. Data sourced from OpenAQ.org.
Delhi aq
PM2.5 daily averages, unit µg/m3. Dashed black line marks average for the period..Data sourced from OpenAQ.org.

The smoke is heading towards Europe

The US East Coast has already got smoke transported across from west, and Europe are likely up next. We will follow up on how this may affect air quality in European cities in our next story.

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