Recent Analysis Finds Significant Increases in Smoke Days in California, U.S.

A recent analysis of federal satellite imagery conducted by the Stanford University Environmental Change and Human Outcomes (ECHO) Lab and NPR’s California Newsroom found a dramatic increase in the number of days residents are breathing smoke across California and the United States. The analysis, based on more than 10 years of data collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, compared average annual number of days with smoke in the air between 2009 to 2013 with smoke days occurring between 2016 and 2020.

Several jurisdictions in California realized the greatest increases in smoke days in the U.S between the two time periods. The analysis additionally identified areas throughout the rest of the country, including in the Midwest and East Coast, who have experienced significant increases in smoke days, largely due to wildfires burning on the West Coast. Authors of the analysis indicate hotter, drier conditions in recent years have exacerbated smoke exposure in California and beyond.

The full analysis and news story is available here.