Smoky Air in the Midwest
Chicago, Detroit, and Minneapolis had the worst air quality in the world yesterday as wildfire smoke from Canada covered parts of the Midwest, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, and eastern Pennsylvania.
Chicago, at one point, reached a "very unhealthy" level of 228 on the air quality index, which measures the concentration of microscopic particles able to bypass the body's natural filters. Minnesota issued its 23rd air quality alert of the year, surpassing its previous record of 21 alerts in 2021. See the latest index ranking here.
Canada's wildfire season—the worst on record—began near the end of May, causing thick haze to blanket the eastern US earlier this month and turn the New York City skyline orange. Roughly 8 million hectares of land have been scorched in Canada from nearly 3,000 fires since the start of the year. Canada also broke its record for wildfire carbon emissions, which reached about 160 megatons this year. About 500 active wildfires are burning in Canada.
Meanwhile, an extreme heat wave sweeping through the southeastern US this week is straining the Texas power grid.