Allergy sufferers may be feeling global warming more than the rest of us. One study shows global warming worsens allergies. This is particularly true if those allergies include ragweed and other spring pollens. What does global warming have to do with worsening allergies? What are some other health effects of global warming that might worsen allergies? How can we decrease global warming on a personal level to combat allergies and other health effects? Can one person make a difference?
Longer growing seasons make for worsening allergies.
Common sense tells us this and the other causes for worsening allergies are responsible. The new study just reinforces the point with evidence. Global warming brings longer growing seasons for gardeners. Last year, for instance, I started my garden two weeks earlier than usual. That's great for me. It gives me a head start on growing veggies for my family. Unfortunately, gardens aren't the only thing growing earlier. Global warming brings weed growth sooner too. Still, this isn't the only reason global warming worsens allergies.
Increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is responsible for global warming.
CO2 (carbon dioxide) Is necessary for plant growth. Plants and humans are meant to co-exist. We breathe oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Plants breathe carbon dioxide and release oxygen for us to breathe. You might think the fact that plants have more CO2 would be good thing. Unfortunately this is a case of too much of a good thing. CO2 makes plants grow earlier and faster. The same CO2 that causes global warming increases plant growth, thus worsening allergies.
Carbon dioxide isn't the only thing in the air that worsens allergies.
The same things that produce CO2, causing global warming, produce other pollutants. These pollutants can worsen allergies, asthma and more. They can also cause lung cancer and other respiratory health issues. Does an allergy sufferer have to be allergic to these irritants in order to react to them? No, even if an allergy sufferer is not technically allergic to air pollutants, they can irritate and worsen allergies.
This is just another reason to fight global warming on a personal level.
Global warming has devastating effects including melting the polar ice caps. Worsening allergies are the least of our worries. We can fight global warming by using less fossil fuels. The burning of fossil
fuels, such as coal and oil results in an overabundance of CO2 in the atmosphere. Some practical ways to reduce fossil fuel use are driving less, using fuel efficient vehicles, keeping heat turned down in winter months, going vegan/vegetarian and planting trees, which convert CO2 to oxygen. One person may not make a huge impact, but millions of people, all doing their part can.
Portions of this article were previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.