As the world’s climate becomes hotter and drier, wildfires are increasing in size, duration and severity. Wildfire smoke can be transported for hundreds or thousands of kilometers in high concentrations. It contains both “black” carbonaceous material (‘BC’) from high-temperature combustion; and “brown” material (‘BrC’) from smoldering, which contains an enormous range of organic compounds including many toxic and carcinogenic materials. This dense smoke can create widespread public-health emergencies, apocalyptic scenarios, and poisonous fallout over huge areas. Additionally, this input of ‘smoke’ to the atmosphere can greatly exceed the inputs from anthropogenic sources, which are now regulated.
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