Why Your Allergy Symptoms Are Getting Worse And What You Can You Do About It
Posted on May 18th, 2019
It was early April when photographer and storm-chaser Jeremy Gilchrist sent his drone skyward to capture a thick, choking, yellow-green haze over North Carolina — a pollmageddon of spring pollens. He then posted the photos to Facebook, where they went viral and were picked up by news media. As the Washington Post noted, “This pollen cloud is real, and it’s spectacular — unless, of course, you’re someone who likes to breathe.” The haze was so thick a weather sensor mistook the pollen for clouds.
The “pollen tsunami”, as NBC News calls the 2019 pollen counts—was just one more sign that, as climate change warms up our planet, allergy season is getting longer, stronger, even brutal at times. And with it, allergy symptoms are skyrocketing. As reported in Lancet Planetary Health, pollen counts are rising around the world as our carbon footprint increases and temperatures climb. Carbon dioxide is a nutrient for plants, and it has risen from 280 parts per million before the industrial revolution, to about 400 ppm today. That has doubled pollen production of, for instance, ragweed. Ragweed can drift as far as 400 miles out to sea and two miles high. And overall, pollen counts today are projected to double by the year 2040.