Impact of climate change on pollen means worse allergy

Cape Cods who feel that their seasonal allergies are getting worse every year aren’t alone. And they are not wrong.

Doctors and environmental health scientists say climate change is contributing to longer and more intense pollen seasons — a trend that shows no signs of abating.

Dr. Aaron Bernstein, director of the Center for Climate Change, said studies that track pollen activity over decades show that warming trends triggered the pollen season to start two to three weeks earlier in the northern United States compared to the late 1970s and 1980s. global environment in Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

“Pollen seasons start earlier and last longer,” he said. Dr.. Luis ZiskaAssociate Professor, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York.

Allergy Mark Thurman peeks through the tree line at the YMCA in West Barnstable where he works where tree pollen remains high.

Ziska, who has published research on pollen trends in The Lancet and the National Academy of Sciences, said the number of frost-free days is increasing, affecting plants from trees to ragweed.

Longer growing seasons are characterized by extended Marked effect on pollen trends In New England, it is most pronounced in Minnesota and Dakota, where the growing season has been extended by up to three weeks, Ziska says.