The smoke from wildfires in Canada that has blanketed large parts of North America this week and created hazardous breathing conditions was expected to shift over Norway on Thursday but not cause trouble for people there, environmental officials said.
Scientists at the Climate and Environmental Research Institute in Norway used forecast models to predict how the smoke from the hundreds of wildfires burning across Canada would move through the atmosphere.
Since June 1, the smoke has moved over Greenland and Iceland, and observations in southern Norway have confirmed increasing concentrations of aerosols.
“We may be able to see some haze or smell smoke,” Nikolaos Evangeliou, a senior scientist at the institute, said in a statement. “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.”
In addition to causing health issues for sensitive groups, like those with lung issues, smoke particles can also negatively affect global warming, the institute said.
Smoke and soot particles that settle on ice- and snow-covered surfaces, like the Greenland ice sheet, can make the surface darker, causing it to absorb solar radiation and thus contribute to warming the atmosphere.
“All in all, from the current forecasts we see that the plume will arrive weak in Europe in the next days,” Mr. Evangeliou said on Thursday. “However, if these fires continue to contribute more smoke every day, then the situation may worsen. Nevertheless, it’s low probability there will be any serious effect on air quality.”