Climate Change Expected to Make Allergy Season Longer and More Intense: Study

Person blowing nose into a tissuePerson blowing nose into a tissue
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Nature Communications recently published a study on the effect a warmer world is expected to have on pollen emissions.

Climate change is affecting our pollen season, leading to more intense allergies for a longer period of time, according to a recent study.

University of Michigan climate scientists used computer simulations of 15 different US plant pollens to calculate how much worse the allergy season could get by the year 2100.

Climate change is suspected to already have altered our allergy season, as allergists say pollen season in the U.S. used to start around St. Patrick's Day, but now often starts around Valentine's Day, according to CBS.

According to a new study in the journal Nature Communications, as the world continues to warm, allergy season will start weeks earlier and end several days later.

The study's projection is that the pollen levels could potentially triple in some places, making the seasons both harder and longer for those with seasonal allergies, particularly those with asthma. 

University of Michigan climate researcher Yingxiao Zhang, lead author of the new study, says that currently about 30% of the world and 40% of American children suffer pollen allergies, which can hurt the economy through lessened work days and medical expenses, according to the study.

University of Utah biologist and climate scientist Bill Anderegg told CBS, "Overall, this is an incredibly important study.”

"It tells us that the historical trends of longer and more severe pollen seasons are likely to continue, driven by climate change, and this will absolutely have substantial health consequences in allergies and asthma for Americans."

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