Blame Global Warming For Worsening Allergies

Buy Extra Tissues if You Live in the City

By Nesita Kwan
|  Monday, Mar 9, 2009  |  Updated 7:56 AM CDT
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Blame Global Warming For Worsening Allergies

Experts say you can blame the extra sniffling on global warming, at least in part.

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A lot of people with allergies are wondering: why does it seem they've never sneezed and sniffled more than now?

Well, Al Gore would say I told you so: you can blame it on global warming.

The number of people with respiratory ailments like asthma has risen around the world in the last couple of decades, and while there's more than one reason, global warming is definitely on the list.

As the mercury rises, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases.

That carbon dioxide is like a growth hormone for ragweed.  It reacts by pumping out pollen like it's on steroids: up to 55 percent more pollen per plant.  And that is an allergy sufferer's worst nightmare.

To make matters worse, the warmer weather also extends the growing season, meaning plants have more time to spread allergic woes.

If you live in the city, there's a third problem: all that concrete, baking in the sun, raises temperatures and carbon dioxide levels even more.

It's not just ragweed that's getting a kick out of all the carbon dioxide, according to Harvard researchers.  A far more poisonous form of poison ivy may also begin to flourish.

 

 

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