Study finds climate change may worsen allergies

Study finds climate change may worsen allergies
Fecha de publicación: 
22 August 2022
Imagen principal: 

LANSING — Findings by researchers at the University of Michigan predict that warming temperatures may result in increased seasonal allergies.

The researchers used a model to predict and examine production changes in pollen through temperature. They put together climate data and socioeconomic scenarios, combined with modeling data from 1995 to 2014.

Allison Steiner, a professor of atmosphere science, led the study.

“By the end of this century, the changing climate, coupled with higher atmospheric CO[carbon dioxide] emissions, could increase pollen production by 200%,” Steiner said.

They also found that pollen emissions could begin 40 days earlier than normal, with allergy season lasting an additional 19 days. That’s in contrast with a normal allergy season that typically lasts 10 to 30 days. 

With rising temperatures, Steiner said, trees will produce more pollen for a longer period of time.

And more pollen production for a longer period of time could also lead to increased allergies, she added.

“It might mean you have symptoms that stretch over a longer period of time or it could also potentially be that the higher pollen concentrations in the atmosphere lead to more intense symptoms.”

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, more than 24 million people suffer from seasonal outdoor allergies. Symptoms include itching in the nose or throat, stuffy nose or, more seriously, potentially life-threatening anaphylaxis.

Reducing emissions and spreading awareness, so people can better manage their allergies, are the best ways of lessening the problem, Steiner said.

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