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Diminished British Visibility Due to Guy Fawkes Night Bonfires

Bonfires, fireworks and other Guy Fawkes Night celebratory smoke emissions make it difficult for Britons to see, says this new study:

Remember, remember the 5th of November; gunpowder, particles and smog,” Ajit Singh, William J. Bloss and Francis D. Pope, Weather, Volume 70, Issue 11, November 2015, pages 320–324. (Thanks to Tom Gill for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at the University of Birmingham, report:

“In the UK on 5 November, Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated with bonfires and fireworks. An undesirable consequence of these activities is a statistically significant reduction (~25%) in atmospheric visibility nationwide. This reduction is caused by increased loading of atmospheric particulate matter generated by bonfires and fireworks. The effect of this increased loading on visibility is investigated in greater detail for the city of Nottingham, where larger visibility decreases compared to the national average are observed. Visibility reduction is more significant when the background particulate matter loading and/or the atmospheric relative humidity are high.”

Here’s further detail, in map form, from the study:

FawkesDayVisibility

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