Allergy seasons are becoming longer and more intense as a result of rising temperatures caused by human-induced climate change, according to new research.
Research from the University of Michigan suggests that by the end of the century, spring pollen season could start 40 days earlier than between 1995 and 2014. The bad news for allergy sufferers is that the season can last up to 19 days before high pollen counts start to fall.
In addition, the amount of pollen released each year could increase by up to 200% due to rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels.
“Pollen-induced respiratory allergies will worsen with climate change,” said Yingxiao Zhang, a climate and space sciences researcher and lead author of a paper published in the journal Nature Communications. “Our results may provide a starting point for further studies on the health effects of climate change on pollen.”
Allergic symptoms can range from mild irritation, such as watery eyes, sneezing or rashes, to more severe conditions, such as breathing difficulties or even anaphylaxis.
According to the American Asthma and Allergy Foundation, 30% of adults and 40% of children in the United States suffer from allergies.
According to Professor Allison Steiner, modelling developed by her team could allow the prediction of allergy season for different geographical regions.
Source: University of Michigan