Explainer: How climate change is making allergy season worse

Local News

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s no surprise to allergy sufferers that the pollen levels have been high recently.

Pollen levels have been high recently due to the dry weather we have been receiving, but that’s not the only thing. A recent study, published in the proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, took data from 60 different North American sites from 1990 to 2018 and found that the pollen season and concentration have both increased.

Specifically, the pollen season has increased by 20 days and the concentration has increased by 21% since 1990. You might be asking yourself, how?

Well, the warmer temperatures and higher concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere all are contributing to a more intense allergy season. When air pollutants attach to pollen grains, it makes the pollen grain “explode” into a bunch of smaller pieces, making it easier to get into your respiratory tract. CO2 can make plants bloom more, which is one reason why there is an increase in pollen levels.

These increased pollen counts have become more potent, or more concentrated, which could result in people who have never suffered from allergies suddenly start experiencing them.

Looking ahead, there isn’t much relief in the forecast, so if you have been suffering from allergies, it is best to talk to your doctor on what the best treatment will be.

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