Climate Change Extends Allergy Season in North America


RAGWEED POLLEN: Climate change is extending the pollen season for plants like ragweed in northern North America--bad news for allergy sufferers.

RAGWEED POLLEN: Climate change is extending the pollen season for plants like ragweed in northern North America--bad news for allergy sufferers. Image: © iStockphoto.com / Melinda Fawver

Pollen season is lengthening in proportion to warming observed in North America

Bad news for—achoo!—those who sniffle, er suffer their way through ragweed—sniff, snort, itch—season: A team of researchers has found that increased warming, particularly in the northern half of North America, has added weeks to the fall pollen season.

It’s enough to make you grab a tissue: Minneapolis has tacked 16 days to the ragweed pollen season since 1995; LaCrosse, Wisc. has added 13 days, Winnipeg and Saskatoon in Canada have added 25 and 27 days, respectively.

The new research, published Monday [2011-02-21] in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds the longer pollen seasons correlate with the disproportionate warming happening around the planet and attributed to greenhouse gas emissions.

More (click here) Douglas Fischer, Scientific American, The Climate

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