Study: Climate change exacerbating pollen season
Pollen season is becoming longer, earlier and more intense as a result of a changing climate, a study published Monday in a journal from the National Academy of Sciences finds.
Scientists at several universities led by William Anderegg at Rutgers examined data from pollen measurements dating between 1990 and 2018, and discovered that pollen season increased by 20 days over that time period, while the amount of pollen in the air grew by 21 percent.
“We find widespread advances and lengthening of pollen seasons (+20 d) and increases in pollen concentrations (+21%) across North America, which are strongly coupled to observed warming,” reads the study’s abstract. “Our results reveal that anthropogenic climate change has already exacerbated pollen seasons in the past three decades with attendant deleterious effects on respiratory health.”
“This is a crystal clear example that climate change is here and it’s in every breath we take,” Anderegg told the Associated Press, which first reported the study.
Scientists around the world have warned that the environment must be limited to warming by 2 degrees Celsius to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change.
A study published earlier this year indicated that greenhouse gas emissions already in the atmosphere could push the earth over that limit over the next several centuries.
The U.S. pulled out of the Paris climate accord, which agrees to aim to limit warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, under former President Trump and reentered the multinational agreement last month.
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