How Climate Change Worsens Your Allergies

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.

2 Ways climate change makes allergies worse:

  1. Higher temperatures lengthen the spring and fall allergy seasons.
  2. More pollen is being produced per plant, a biochemical reaction to the increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Here’s how it looks in the Midwest, courtesy of MCAF partner, Climate Nexus:

infographic depicting how climate change is worsening allergies

Climate change is here, and it has wide-ranging health implications for our children.

We need a big plan for fighting climate change…

TELL PRESIDENT OBAMA TO MAKE CLIMATE CHANGE A PRIORITY

 

Related
An Herbal Remedy for Allergies
Allergies, Asthma, and Climate Change
10 Safe and Natural Ways to Beat Allergies

by Molly Rauch

34 comments

Andrea Turek
Andrea Turek3 years ago

We have very ,very ,few bees this spring...almost none.
Our pear trees and apple trees are usually buzzing with pollinators this time of year.
The trees are silent...the silence is disturbing ...
even the sweet lilac is quiet..
Our world is full of poison and death...
a different kind of Silent Spring.
Climate Change effects everything....

Joanne S.
Jo S.3 years ago

Wow, now that makes sense!

Danial W.
Past Member 3 years ago

Very Interesting

Harshiita Sharma
Harshita Sharma3 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

CHRISTINANICKI G.
.3 years ago

thank you for sharing

Liliana Garcia
Liliana Garcia3 years ago

Not surprising anymore, though I didn't know about the chemical reactions of plants to CO2 emissions in terms of more pollen production. Worse, now with the bees disappearing, who's going to help with the transferring of pollen?

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener3 years ago

We are doing it to ourselves!

Kathy K.
Kathy K.3 years ago

Thanks for posting.

Stephanie Reap
Stephanie Reap3 years ago

just started having allergies last year :(