Climate change has impacted the Earth in so many negative ways harming our oceans, our land, plants, animals, and humans. Among these negative impacts is allergy season.
The Lancet, a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal, just came out with a report which discusses the effects temperature-related changes have on pollen seasons.
The new research shows that pollen seasons start 20 days earlier, are 10 days longer, and feature 21% more pollen than they did in 1990, writes Doyle Rice from USA Today.
“Ongoing climate change might, through rising temperatures, alter allergenic pollen biology across the northern hemisphere,” says the study.
According to EcoWatch, this is important information because longer allergenic pollen production seasons and increased pollen intensity could have public health significance if allergy symptoms last longer, require more treatment, or boost numbers of sensitized individuals. This multi-continent investigation highlights important links between ongoing warming and health effects that could worsen as temperatures continue to rise.
As reported by The New York Times, the most pronounced effects were seen in Texas, the Midwest, and the Southeast, said William Anderegg, an assistant professor of biology at the University of Utah and the lead author of the new study. The effects were less obvious in the northern United States, including New England and the Great Lakes states. The greatest pollen increases came from trees, as opposed to grasses and weeds, he said.
As annual global temperatures increase, the pollen season also grows longer and more intense.
As NASA reported, nineteen of the warmest years have occurred since 2000, with the exception of 1998. The year 2020 tied with 2016 for the warmest year on record since record-keeping began in 1880.
With these record temperatures, comes longer pollen seasons which then drastically impacts pollen-sensitized individuals who have to endure higher pollen concentration for longer periods of time.