A recent article published by Huffington Post – Heating and Air Pollution reports “surprising” percentages of wintertime fine particles (PM 2.5) from wood burning in the US and cities of the world. The article references 33% of wintertime PM 2.5 in the San Francisco Bay Area and up to 49% in Santiago, Chile is from wood burning.
Would you be surprised to know Fairbanks and North Pole beat them all?
In Fairbanks, wood burning contributes 60% to over 75% of winter PM 2.5. In North Pole, wood burning contributes 80% of winter PM 2.5. Right click on the images to make them larger.
You’ve heard it before; the only way to significantly reduce our extremely high PM 2.5 pollution is to tackle our primary source: smoke from wood burning. Any other approach will be costly and ineffective. Controls on woodsmoke must not increase other sources of PM 2.5 such as smoke from currently unregulated coal burning in neighborhoods and near schools.
Link: Huffington Post – Heating and Air Pollution 10/18/2011