People who suffer from pollen allergies notice the season is worse this year. Allergy season starts earlier with weeds and trees spewing pollen at greater rates, and the season persists longer. Global warming is the leading cause of this, but there are recommendations that can help regardless of the reason.
The Research Is In
In March 2022, CNN reviewed a study in the Journal of Nature Communications. Allergy seasons will begin 30 days earlier in the future and up to 40 days earlier as the next century nears. Worse, pollen count may rise by as much as 200% or more. Other research preceded the Nature Communication study. Many past studies show that pollen counts are rising, and the seasons are lasting longer.
Researchers of the study published in Nature Communications, Yingxiao Zhang and Allison L. Steiner of the University of Michigan, studied the relationships between climate change and wind-driven pollen. This type of pollen plays an essential role in plant fertilization. Furthermore, it alters climate as it interacts with radiation and clouds.
The researchers found correlations between the amount of pollen, weather, and temperature. These factors affect the pollen season’s beginning and end dates.
The authors studied the interactions between the various pollens, temperature, and atmospheric conditions. Warmer conditions tend to lead to earlier starts of the pollen season (deciduous tree pollen). While grass/weed pollen has delayed season starts. In both cases, the seasons are prolonged – a net increase in pollen season weeks.
As climate change continues, carbon dioxide is on the rise. Carbon dioxide acts as a fertilizer, helping plants turn sunlight into energy for growth. More growth increases the capacity of plants to produce airborne pollen.
Intuition tells us the pollen season is more intense, starts earlier, and lasts longer. It’s like a perfect storm; warmer days, more sunlight, and carbon dioxide combine, creating longer and stronger pollen seasons.
Thankfully there are treatments for this! Allergy doctors at Prosperity Internal Medicine. Dr. Mir and Dr. Zahir provide quality allergy care for their patients. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, these doctors can address your condition. Contact us to schedule an appointment!