‘storms’ of African dust by May: Why Crete faces a bigger problem

A new wave of African dust appeared from today Sunday (31.324) in the country, while just a few hours before another “storm” retreated. After all, in recent years the transportation of dust from Africa to is a frequent phenomenon. As Professor – president of the Department of Physics of the University of Patras and Director of the Laboratory of Physics of the Atmosphere, Andreas Kazantzidis, are expected storms of African dust by the end of May. As he explains “during spring, i.e. from March to May, air traffic helps to have desert gas storms over the eastern Mediterranean.” Regarding the last invasion of African dust, Andreas Kazantzidis said that “there was a three-day day where African dust concentration prices were significantly high, while the worst day was last Wednesday. It is indicative that in the region the average daily PM10 particle concentration value was 65 μg/m3. “This value, as he added, “is quite significant, considering that the World Health Organization says that the 50 μg/m3 limit should not exceed 35 times a year.” “Unitally,” he continued, “was one of the important African dust concentration episodes, but it is not extreme,” since, as he repeats, “we have invaded African dust during the spring”. “After all, as Andreas Kazantzidis pointed out, “the closer to Africa is an area, the more difficult the situation with African dust, that is why the island of Crete has faced the biggest problems, due to high dust concentration prices.” Speaking of particle concentrations he said that “the characteristic we have is that most are not on the ground, but some miles higher, because they travel a little higher in the atmosphere, since they come from afar. ” Invoking a satellite image, he said that “we see the layer of dust, but that does not mean that it is on the ground, since it reaches only a percentage, which we see and understand in visibility anyway.” With regard to the suspended dust particles, Andreas Kazantzidis said “that they are large and not small like those of the pollution we have in the winter season, such as the burning of the fireplaces.” “So, then,” he continued, “in ours the network that shows the values of small particles in real time, strangely nothing seemed, while in fact in large particles we had very high values.” At the same time, the professor stressed that “suspension particles in general are perhaps the most difficult for us phenomenon and the most difficult factor, when one wants to see the role of atmospheric science, whether speaking of weather forecast the next day, or even talking about climate change… The particles move all to the west and there are many tasks that show how much they affect fertility on the Amazon soils that are on the other side of the Atlantic.” “It’s a phenomenon”, he stressed, “which transcends the boundaries of a state, having apparently implications for human health”. Also, Andreas Kazantzidis said that “the sowed particles have another characteristic, i.e. they affect the clouding too much” by filling that: “In particular, how many particles exist in the atmosphere depends on what happens with clouds. Clouds are known to have no clear water, other salts, which are actually dissolved suspended particles. If there were no suspended particles, there would be no clouds in the atmosphere, except those that are too high, that is, where the planes fly and which are thin. Therefore it is very important, how many particles there are, what particles these are and where they are moving. So their role as we see it, but also their role in how they interact with water in the atmosphere, are the two most important factors we know less about at the moment, about how the atmosphere behaves and what is to happen in the coming years.” Meanwhile, in response to a question by Andreas Kazantzidis about the pollution in the atmosphere of Patras during the winter period by the suspended microparticles, mainly due to the burning of fireplaces, he said that “it was a good year, because weather conditions helped ” and added: “Since the evening hours we did not have very low temperatures, less fireplaces were used and this resulted in fewer emissions of suspended microparticles. So it was a mild winter and therefore the conditions of pollution were also mild.”