Thursday 17 March 2022

Your hay fever will get worse with climate change, says new report

Your hay fever will get worse with climate change, says new report

If you suffer from hay fever during the spring and summer months, it may get worse due to climate change.

That’s according to a new report in Nature Communications, which claims that by 2100 the amount of pollen produced in the flowering season will be 40% higher.

The study reveals that although drought and heat increases are detrimental to forestry and grasslands, pollens actually thrive in these conditions.

Researchers estimate the pollen season will begin 40 days earlier, last 19 days longer and produce 40% more pollen if current climate trends continue.

The report states that many pollen-producing plants will prosper in a hot environment that is rich in carbon dioxide, however, certain trees such as birch will suffer.

The scientists investigated how higher temperatures and carbon outputs would impact plants and found that if carbon emissions were to raise by more than half the current level, the pollen count in the air could double what has been witnessed for the last 30 years.

The research warns that public health will decline, as climate change increases, with more intense impacts on those with spring allergies or asthma.

A rise in the number of people with allergies is also projected, as not only do pollen concentrations rise but they also mix with polluting chemicals. The WHO predicts that by 2050, the number of adults with an allergy could rise to half if steps are not taken to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Lead author, Allison Steiner, said: “So many people are affected by seasonal allergies, yet predictive models for pollen are really not that good.

“This represents a first step towards developing better tools to understand how pollen might change in the future and help people better prepare for the health impacts.”

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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