Saharan dust is on its way to Europe again

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The mild southerly current will bring Saharan dust to Europe again over the next few days. According to the current forecast, however, this will not be as strong in Austria as last weekend, and the highest concentrations of the dust cloud will move over Spain, France, and Germany on Sunday.

warm air combination is “unusual,” according to meteorologists
The meteorologist, climate researcher, and activist Helga Kromp-Kolb described this weekend’s possible or probable earliest heat day, 30 degrees in a calendar year in Austria, as quite “unusual” in a statement to the APA. The influx of warm air from North Africa is “not so unusual” in itself, but the fact that it is now so warm, so early in the year and is meeting air masses that have already warmed up considerably.

It is clear that the air from North Africa is now travelling “very far north at high temperatures”. At the same time, however, “the Saharan dust that is also being transported makes exact temperature forecasts difficult”, says the scientist from the Centre for Global Change and Sustainability at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Boku) Vienna.

Temperature levels will generally be higher in future
It is, of course, scientifically difficult to estimate the influence of large-scale, long-term climate change on such short-term weather conditions: “The fact that the temperature level itself is higher, even in the areas of origin of the air masses” is, however, “undoubtedly a consequence of climate change”. As the El Niño phenomenon “will continue for the rest of the year, unusually high temperatures are to be expected. In general, the temperature level will be higher in future, but unusual weather conditions must also be expected in terms of timing and duration,” explained Kromp-Kolb.

In any case, we have been dealing with a striking series of average temperature records in recent months, which does not seem to be coming to an end. Accordingly, the scientific community is now increasingly discussing “whether the climate models underestimate the temperature development itself (because both the warming effect of CO2 and the cooling effect of aerosols were underestimated), or whether the last few years are outliers in a chaotic system”.

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