From: The University of Utah
Published January 6, 2017 10:53 AM

Rocky mountain haze

Many people head to the mountains in the summer to get above the haze of the cities and valleys. A new study finds that the haze could be catching up.

University of Utah atmospheric scientist Gannet Hallar and colleagues find a correlation between the severity of drought in the Intermountain West and the summertime air quality, particularly the concentration of aerosol particles, in remote mountain wilderness regions. The link between drought and haze is likely wildfire, the researchers write in Environmental Research Letters. Climate projections suggest that drought and wildfire risk will continue to increase in coming decades.

“If you take that into the future, we’re going to see significant hazing of the West,” Hallar says.

Haze in the air is caused by small airborne particles—typically dust, soot, ash or smoke. Aerosols are particles so small that they are suspended in air and don’t settle out. Fog and steam can also be considered aerosols.

Read more at The University of Utah

Photo credit: Hyrum K. Wright via Wikimedia Commons

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