Climate Change Extends Season of Misery for Allergy Sufferers

Mar 23, 2022

Top 10 Worst US Cities for Seasonal Pollen Allergies

For allergy sufferers, the yearly misery of allergy season is getting longer. Scientists say climate change is to blame.

A warmer planet could make the growing season longer. When plants grow, they emit more pollen. So, that means a longer allergy season, the scientists reported in a new study.

Already, climate change has started allergy season in some parts of the country a month sooner. The allergy season normally opens in mid-March. Now, in some places it's starting in mid-February, according to the study.  

The only way to stop the longer allergy season is to slow the amount of greenhouse gasses released. Scientists warned if emissions aren't slowed, the amount of pollen trees and plants release into the air will soar 200% by 2100. Allergy season would then keep getting longer, the study found. By 2100, the season would likely start 10 to 40 days earlier. It would last up to 19 days longer in the fall, the study found. 

About 30% of the world’s population – and 40% of US children – suffer from seasonal allergies, the study said. For those with certain health conditions, the study said, allergies can make them very sick.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s criteria for ranking the most challenging cities for allergy sufferers to live does not include: (Common Core RI.5.7; RI.6.7)
a. spring pollen scores
b. summer pollen scores
c. fall pollen scores
d. over-the-counter medicine use
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