What is Calima? The end of the world, the scene in an apocalyptic movie, sandstorm from Sahara?26-03-2022
What is Calima? Is it The end of the world, a scene on an apocalyptic movie, sandstorm from Sahara?
A huge Saharan sandstorm sweeps across Spain for the second time on 22-24th of March 2022 Sahara sand storm ‘calima’ covered the Costa del Sol Malaga, Torremolinos, Marbella, Cadiz. Top of everything, it brought rain to Costa del Sol Marbella.
Orange smog on the Costa del Sol looks like life on Mars or nuclear winter from a post-apocalyptic movie. "Never seen this before in 20 years"- Says, local people.
Residents in Costa del Sol woke up to eerie skies with an orange hue caused by tiny particles of dust that had travelled thousands of miles across the Mediterranean Sea on Thursday on 22th of March, 2022.
Air quality in areas including the capital of Spain, Madrid, and cities Malaga and Seville was rated as "extremely unfavourable" - the worst rating by the national air quality index.
People were encouraged to wear face masks and to avoid outdoor exercise.
Amber weather warnings are in place in Malaga as the red dust – accompanied by heavy rainfall and strong winds – continues to cause poor visibility for drivers.
The sandstorm is believed to have caused several cancellations and flight delays at Malaga Airport.
It comes after the dust cloud blanketed streets and houses in southern regions and turned skies orange last week.
The Calima is hot, oppressing dust and sand-laden. The word Calima itself originates from the Spanish word for “haze”, in this case, the haze is a layer of dust and sand brought on high winds originating from Africa.
On occasion weather fronts in the southwest of the Canary Islands can increase wind speeds even more. In these cases, the Calima can escalate bringing very high temperatures with it, and is able to carry dust 5,000 meters or so above the Atlantic covering hundreds of thousands of square miles with a dense cloud of Saharan sand, amazingly at times even reaching the Caribbean.
Malaga, Southern of Spain 22-24.03.2022
It looked like something from Mars as the skies turned orange over much of Europe and parts of the UK last week, on the 16th of March, 2022. This was dust whipped up from the Sahara and carried across Europe on southerly winds, making a mess of cars and windows and providing a welcome spring bonus for the car-washing industry. While spectacular, it was not that unusual. The Sahara is the world’s biggest producer of dust, which can be blown far and wide, especially in spring when seasonal winds rake the desert.
How do Saharan dust clouds that turn skies orange also nourish nature? Dust is a precious fertiliser for the Amazon rainforest and feeds Atlantic phytoplankton.
In fact, clouds of dust can be swept across the Atlantic on the trade winds, and more than 20m tonnes reach the Amazon each year. That dust is a precious fertiliser that nourishes the rainforest with much-needed iron and phosphorus minerals. In fact, by a strange symmetry, the Saharan dust adds about the same amount of phosphorus to the Amazon each year that is flushed out to sea by floodwaters.
The dust also fertilises the vast numbers of microscopic phytoplankton in the Atlantic, the tiny algae that soak up huge amounts of carbon dioxide. When the phytoplankton eventually die, the remains sink to the bottom of the ocean, where the carbon stays locked away, helping fight climate breakdown.
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