When my four-year-old sees spring flowers blooming, he doesn't comment on the colors or the fragrance. Instead, he says: "Does this flower make pollen, Mommy?" That's because his beloved babysitter is one of millions of Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies. He knows all too well about the discomfort and inconvenience of elevated pollen counts.
Less well-known is what is driving longer and more intense seasonal allergies. Because it's us. You and me, and our skyrocketing carbon emissions.
Researchers are documenting how climate change is driving an increase in seasonal allergies. We're not talking about some future problem, years down the line, such as sea level rise swamping the downtowns of major US cities. We are talking about today. Right now.
Allergies are no walk in the park, as our babysitter and countless others can attest. But the relationship between climate and pollen has major health implications that go beyond seasonal allergies. That's because allergies can trigger asthma attacks. And as many as one in ten children have asthma.
One of the largest severe weather outbreak so far this year occurred this week as powerful winds, large hail and heavy rains pummeled the Plains and parts of the Ohio Valley over the course of several days.Read Story >