Recently we have found ourselves enjoying the unusual warm weather and can’t help but celebrate the early spring. However, what are the consequences of the mild weather?
A recent article, “Every Allergy Season is the Worst Season Ever!”, posted on MSN Health by Emily Main, explains that every allergy season will be worse than the last. Studies have found that the period of plant pollination is expanding and has in fact increased 27 days between 1995 and 2009. The reason for this is pointed to climate change and the increased production of carbon dioxide (CO2). Plants feed off of CO2, which gives them more energy to produce more pollen. Another interesting discovery is that thunderstorms also help to stir up pollen in an area, making it worse for those with allergies as well. Research has shown that a warming climate could cause more frequent severe storms; therefore, less CO2 in the air, leads to less pollen and pollution, and helps those with allergy issues.
There are things you can do to decrease your allergies by:
– Staying indoors when it is dry and windy out.
– Figuring out what you are allergic to (sometimes it is something other than pollen).
– Try a Neti pot to cleanse your sinuses.
– Reduce your use of certain household chemicals, such as those that have triclosan (Scientists from the University of Michigan have found that this active ingredient in antibacterial soaps can actually make allergies worse).
– Stay away from certain foods that have similar proteins as pollen, such as apples, cherries, pears, apricots, kiwis, plums, or nuts. Instead eat leafy greens and citrus fruits that contain folic acid that help fight allergies.
– Buy local honey so that you may expose yourself to small doses of local pollen spores.
Early spring can also confuse certain insects and plants. For instance, bees are used to plants flowering at certain times of the year, but warmer temperatures may cause early blooming. Once the bees come around to find nectar, it may be too late.
Although it may seem like the weather of today is a consequence of global warming, it is actually due to the Arctic Oscillation (AO) patterns and La Niña that produce higher than normal temperatures in the southeastern part of the United States during the winter months. However, even though this may be true, the earth’s climate is still gradually warming from other factors that may include CO2 emissions. Even if you are not a firm believer of global warming from pollution, perhaps just the idea of extra pollen in the air and horrible allergies is enough to make you want to decrease your carbon footprint.