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- Recent smoky skies in New York were thanks to wildfires burning in Canada, according to the National Weather Service — not sun-dimming technology.
Canadian wildfire smoke recently darkened New York City, disrupting schools and services and blanketing the skyline in haze. But a recent Facebook post suggests that the flames weren’t to blame. Instead, the June 18 post points the finger at philanthropist Bill Gates.
"Canadian wildfire smoke, or Bill Gates’ ‘sun-dimming technology,’" the post said.
It was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
We’ve previously looked into claims that Gates, the Microsoft Corp. co-founder, is scheming to block the sun. They’re wrong.
The misinformation hinges on a small-scale experiment proposed by Harvard University researchers that would spray aerosols into the atmosphere to reflect some sunlight back into space. The technology is aimed at minimizing global warming, and mimics a process that already occurs naturally — about 30% of the sun’s energy is reflected back into space by clouds and ice.
But this technology doesn’t block out the sun. It’s also a huge stretch to call it "Bill Gates’ sun-dimming technology." His only connection to the research is through a donation to Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program, which, in turn, is providing part of the funding for this project.
Recent smoky skies in New York were thanks to wildfires burning in Canada, according to the National Weather Service — not sun-dimming technology.
On June 7, for example, "a stalled low-pressure system near Maine and the Canadian Maritime Provinces" sustained northerly winds from fires burning in Quebec and directed the smoke into portions of the northeastern United States.
Satellite images show the smoke moving in from the north.
We rate claims that the obscured skies were caused by Gates or supposed "sun-dimming technology" False.
Instagram post, June 18, 2023
PolitiFact, Claim that Bill Gates is scheming to block the sun is wrong, Feb. 25, 2022
National Weather Service, Smoky skies June 05-07, 2023, visited June 21, 2023
National Weather Service, Weather In Action: Smoke Plume, visited June 21, 2023
The New York Times, Smoke From Canada Wildfires Is Returning to New York, June 15, 2023
National Weather Service tweet, June 7, 2023
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