Plume of Sahara dust causes spike in European air pollution

The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service highlights that their air quality forecasting shows that a substantial plume of Saharan dust is travelling north; from Spain to France and the Benelux countries, possibly reaching as far as Norway. This will likely lead to a significant drop in air quality in the affected regions.

The high concentrations of dust can have health impacts on the respiratory systems of all people in the affected regions, and add to particulate matter ai pollution from local sources. Moreover, there is also an increasing body of research indicating adverse health effects for other organs.

In the past weeks, similar forecasts were given out, which were confirmed by surface measurements from the respective countries. In those events (and forecasts) the Sahara dust clouds didn’t reach as far, affecting mostly cities like Barcelona and Marseille. This caused deep red skies and striking snow-covered sand deposits.

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Photo by Dave Hoefler on Unsplash
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