Friday, July 5, 2013

Climate change nothing to sneeze at: Ask your nose

"As if the increased threat of catastrophic weather events weren’t enough, climate change also has to mess with us in ways less apocalyptic but arguably more frustr
ating on a daily basis. Like by making our allergies way worse."

Writing in Grist, Claire Thompson explains that "more CO2 in the atmosphere stimulates plant growth and pollen production, and as a result, allergy doctors across the country are reporting increases in patient visits — new ones who have never before experienced symptoms as well as longtime sufferers getting more miserable each year. "

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“The link between rising carbon dioxide and pollen is pretty clear,” Lewis Ziska, a weed ecologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, tells
USA Today.
His lab tests show that pollen production rises along with carbon dioxide. It doubled from 5 grams to 10 grams per plant when CO2 in the atmosphere rose from 280 parts per million (ppm) in 1900 to 370 ppm in 2000. He expects it could double again, to 20 grams, by 2075 if carbon emissions continue to climb. The world’s CO2 concentration is about 400 ppm.

Related environmental news stories:
Midwest Allergy Sufferers Battling 'Pollen Tsunami'
Hurricane Sandy and Climate Change Drive Up the Pollen Count

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