MADRID – A unique meteorological phenomenon takes place in the run-up to Christmas. A calima, the weather phenomenon in which dust particles remain suspended in the atmosphere, could even reach the United Kingdom.
Due to a super anticyclone, meteorologists expect, based on their models, that the calima will move much further north than usual. In the Canary Islands the sky has been yellow since last Monday. The concentrations of dust in the air are therefore high. This situation will intensify over the weekend, especially on the southern side of the islands.
Expansion to United Kingdom
The calima, typical of the Canary Islands, leads to dust covering the air and an increase in air pollution. The question arises whether there is a link between climate change and the increased and extensive appearance of calima. Research indicates a 400% increase in Saharan dust in the Iberian Peninsula over the past 5,000 years, which is associated with the accelerated desertification of the Sahara.
Health effects of calima
The health effects of calima are significant, especially for people with existing respiratory problems. The dust particles can cause a range of health problems, ranging from asthma and bronchitis to chronic lung disease and cardiovascular disease.
In case of severe vision loss due to calima, it is recommended to stay indoors. When going outdoors, wearing masks is essential to prevent dust inhalation. Keeping windows closed and cleaning surfaces regularly also helps maintain a clean environment.
What is a calima?
A “calima” is a common meteorological phenomenon in the Canary Islands and other regions near Spain. It refers to a dense, hot layer of Saharan dust that moves from the Sahara Desert towards these areas. When haze is present, it can reduce visibility and lead to warm, dry air conditions.
This phenomenon can affect air quality and people’s health, since Saharan dust contains fine particles that can be harmful to breathing. In addition, haze can give the skies a hazy and opaque appearance