Building a Relationship between Future Climate Change and Allergies (credit: Climate Central)
DISCUSSION: As the spring 2018 season continues to get into full-swing, one of the premiere nuisances among a large portion of the general public both across the United States and around the world is the prevalence of various types of pollen. In the presence of a gradually warming average global temperature and an evolving global climate regime from season-to-season, there is a corresponding threat for both earlier and lengthier allergy seasons.
In the presence of a gradually warming planet, warmer temperatures will often allow for various types of plants and foliage to bloom at an earlier date than is climatologically normal. Therefore, with an earlier flowering date, many types of plants and flowers will often produce greater amounts of pollen starting from an earlier date in a given year. Hence, under such scenarios, an earlier and a longer Spring would cause more pronounced health issues for people who suffer from nasty allergies to tree pollen, dust, ragweed, and other types of foliage-borne air pollutants as well. As far as how location may affect the magnitude of the impacts from pollen on society, some recent studies have been conducted to study this exact issue and there have been some big findings which are detailed below as found in the article shared by the Climate Central team on Twitter.
Here is the exact snippet from the piece courtesy of Climate Central: “However, the increase in pollen is not consistent across all locations. One study measured pollen at 50 sampling stations in the U.S. between 1994 and 2010. The researchers found that the total amount of pollen in the air was increasing and that the pollen season was getting longer — even more so in northern locations. Another aspect of climate change is that plant species are shifting. This introduces different types of pollen into new locations, possibly triggering new allergies.
There is also evidence that the pollen is worse in cities than other areas. Researchers planted ragweed in downtown Baltimore, Md., where CO2 levels were about 30 percent higher and temperatures were 3.5°F higher than outside of the city. They found that ragweed plants grew faster, flowered earlier and produced more pollen than those planted outside of the city.”
Hence, this finding with the city of Baltimore, Maryland is one of many cases wherein downtown and more urbanized regions see greater impacts from a longer allergy season. Thus, it would always be good to stay ahead on the seasonal forecast for your region, so you can try to better anticipate when the worst of your allergies may impact your day-to-day life and so you can try to also “escape the sniffles.”
To learn more about other stories closely related to this topic and mentioned in the original article referenced by Climate Central, click here, here, and here!
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© 2018 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz