“These days have been especially complicated and they will surely continue to be”, with these words those responsible for the Community of Madrid put on alert to all people with allergies in the region. But the thing goes far beyond Madrid. And it is that no, it is not your impression: allergies are out of control and, although it may not seem like it, it has its explanation.
If the weather is crazy, I don’t even tell you about the pollen. Plants are the biological equivalent of a castaway on a desert island. Unable to move and unable to do great things on their own, they are basically dependent on the only flare they can use to be successful. Waiting to fire it just when a ship is nearby is key.
Or, put in less metaphorical terms: pollination requires thermal thresholds and meteorological conditions quite concrete. That is why certain specific situations trigger the machinery and suddenly raise pollen levels. That is what has happened in recent days: after a few weeks with a lot of rain, the rapid rise in temperatures has made Spain a bad place for allergy sufferers.
Grasses in the south, quercus in the north. These are the two elements with the greatest reach in the peninsula. Whether we look a distribution map of grasses like one of the distribution of oaks and oaks, we can see that these two large groups cover practically the entire territory. However, due to their particular dynamics they do not usually “break” at the same time.
So, what we can see is that the concentrations of grass pollen began to grow in the southwest and, driven by the heat wave, have been rising until they invaded the entire southern part of the peninsula. In the case of oaks and holm oaks, the process has been practically the opposite and during the last few days they have taken over most of the north. Only the Valencia area has been spared from this curious “alliance”.
Oh and the olive tree. To all this we have to add the olive tree. Unlike the previous ones, the olive tree has a fairly uneven distribution. In fact, it is highly concentrated in the south of the peninsula. That is what has exploded in recent days and, in fact, the high concentrations of pollen have also reached Teruel and part of the Pyrenees.
How long will this last? The grass season, for example, has only just begun. Normally, there is pollen well into June. Of course, it is not clear how this heat wave is going to influence the usual dynamics. What is clear is that plants, as is happening with diseases, are going to have to adapt to the new climatic balance and that, do not doubt it, is going to have consequences for all those with allergy problems.
Imagen Brittany Colette