UW-Madison scientist predicts an increase in smoky days in the future

A UW–Madison scientist explains how climate change is to blame for the fires and smoke.
Published: Jun. 27, 2023 at 6:50 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A UW-Madison scientist expects to see more hazy days similar to the smoke currently being seen in Madison until Thursday and possibly return in the future.

UW-Madison Environmental Studies Professor Dr. Tracey Holloway said wildfires in Canada typically happen later in the summer, so she believes the recent fires and subsequent smoke is caused by climate change.

”It’s surprising how bad it is,” Dr. Holloway said. “Even as a scientist, knowing wildfires are getting worse and smoke is becoming more common it is surprising to walk out my front door and hardly be able to see down the street.”

Dr. Holloway uses satellite technology to track air quality and according to her research, climate change is to blame for the fires and smoke.

”Our planet is getting warmer, our summers are getting longer, the land is getting drier and one of the consequences to that is more wildfires,” she said. ”That’s what climate change looks like. A slow change in what becomes the new normal.”

She said people in Madison should expect to see smoke more frequently as climate change continues.

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