A total of 25 million in the United States suffer from some sort of seasonal allergies and it’s that time of the year when flowers are starting to bloom and trees are dropping plenty of pollen making our allergies flare-up.
While we don’t often think of our changing climate as making our allergies worse there is a direct link. Check out the graph below and you can see from the year 2000 to 2020 we had increased amounts of pollen and how things could trend upward if we don’t reduce emissions.
But why is CO2 - carbon dioxide making our allergies worse? Well, trees and plants feed on CO2 and this stimulates grass and tree pollen growth. So, with increased CO2 levels in the air we are seeing trees put out more pollen than in past years. Warmer temperatures are also increasing the growing season for trees and plants adding to this problem. The good news, if aggressive CO2 cuts are made there is evidence that our problem of increased pollen could be slowed way down.
Here’s a look in the picture below of what’s floating around in the Bay Area right now and could be aggravating your allergies.
You can find out more about how the Bay Area climate is changing in a series of stories the Microclimate Weather Team worked on across the Bay Area.