Living with smoke…

Smoke in the Methow Valley, Sept. 8, 2022: 600 ug per m3 = Hazardous air. At this level, the ug/m3 and AQI are nearly the same at 600. Anyone living in the west knows that smoke is now a common occurence almost every summer. It doesn't seem to matter where you live, although California and the NW states seem to get it the…

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Dan’s PCT Summer!

In the summer of 2021, I was driving thru the North Cascades and picked up a hitchhiker who had just finished hiking the entire Pacific Crest Trail. This is an amazing feat and he was not much younger than me! I asked him what were the best sections and he replied "The Sierras, Goat Rocks and the North Cascades". I was blown away,…

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Is coal going the way of the dinosaurs?

Implosion and dis-mantling of the coal-powered Navajo Generating Station in December 2020. Photo credit: Adrian Herder/Tó Nizhóní Ání In the midst of the most bitter election battle ever, you might not have noticed a really significant news item. On December 18, 2020, the stacks at the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) were imploded as part of the dis-mantling of what once was one of the largest…

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If Science Eludes Us, So Does Democracy: 2021 version!

If Science Eludes Us, So Does Democracy Thirty-four years ago, I wrote an op-ed with the same title as this one.  At the time, I was a grad student at UW.   This article was published in the Seattle Times on 8/17/1986. You can click here to see my old and yellowed copy of this. sci_eludes_1986-1Download Or if you are a Times subscriber, you…

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Did climate change contribute to the recent (2020) wildfires in the Western U.S.?

The New York Times (NYT) published an excellent story today about the massive 2020 fires on the West Coast. You can read the story here. This article does a great job of documenting the dramatic rise in fires in the western states. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they quoted me in the story…. A recent story in the Seattle Times documents that…

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Update on MERV-13 and masks for wildfire smoke

First, my heart goes out to so many people who have lost their homes or loved ones during this crazy wildfire season. It’s so hard to predict when a fire will blow and get out of control. For this reason, anyone who lives in the West really needs to be prepared for this type of disaster at any time. And climate change is…

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Out, out damn smoke!

Starting in mid-August, smoke was affecting a large chunk of the country.  There are hundreds of fires burning right now, with large fires being reported in: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Currently the National Interagency Fire Center (www.nifc.org) is reporting 4.7 million acres burned as of 9/8/2020 for wildland fires, so it looks like 2020 is on…

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It’s time to announce our new cartoon caption contest..

I am trying to keep these posts lively and make them fun and interesting. So with Arielle’s help we are doing some new original cartoons. Sometimes we have the caption, sometimes, just the idea and we need your help. So here is the cartoon that goes with this week’s post on smoke and indoor air quality: What is he saying?    Are they puzzled…

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Introducing ScienceNorthwest.com!
Copyright Joel Pett

Introducing ScienceNorthwest.com!

Hi and thanks for your interest in ScienceNorthwest.com I started this blog in August 2020 with the goal to help the non-scientific public understand science, what it is, and why it’s important. When I thought about this, I asked myself a simple question: does the world need another blog?! I decided the answer was yes because I see so much mis-understanding and mis-use…

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