If you’ve been itchy, congested, and sneezy for months, you’re not alone. This year’s spring allergy season started early, broke pollen-count records in some parts of the country, and is still going strong in many areas.
In a May 9th article in TIME magazine William Anderegg, U Biology Associate Professor and Director of the Wilkes Center for Climate Science & Policy says that climate change is playing a big part.
“We’ve known for a long time that higher [carbon dioxide levels] and turning up the temperature on plants in very controlled environments makes them produce a lot more pollen and start that pollen season earlier,” says Anderegg who researches how climate change affects nature. Now, that’s happening at scale.
Anderegg’s research suggests that, from 1990 to 2018, North American pollen concentrations rose by about 20%, with allergy season starting about 20 days earlier and dragging on more than an extra week by the end of that time period. The effect is happening across the U.S., but parts of the Southeast and Midwest are particular hot spots, he says.
Read the full article in TIME magazine.