North American locations are closer to the poorest air rate all over the world

July 4, 2023: Almost four of the five cities with the poorest air quality in the world are in North America, including New York, a grim distinction fueled by devastating woodland fires across Canada that have sent smoky air across the continent, according to data tracked by IQAir.

New York City now has the second-worst air quality in the world, with a recorded air quality index of 162, lagging only in Jakarta.

Toronto and Montreal rank as No.3 and No. 4, reporting an AQI of 155 and 153, respectively.

Anything beyond an AQI of 150 is considered “unhealthy” air.

The fifth-ranked city, Washington, D.C., is hundreds of miles away from where Canadian wildfires continue to rage. There, air quality is slightly better than the other three North American cities on the list, with an AQI of 122. That digit is deemed “unhealthy for sensitive groups.”

Research has shown that Canadian wildfires have burned for weeks, with record heat and drought prompted by weather change creating ripe conditions for longer-lasting, more intense wildfire activity.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul cautioned citizens that potentially dangerous air quality reflected a grim distinction for state residents.

“This is not something that we’re talking about future generations dealing with,” Hochul stated in a press conference earlier this week. “We are truly the first generation to feel the real effects of temperature change.”

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North American locations are closer to the poorest air rate all over the world