The fresh scents and floral delights of spring can be torture for many people for whom their arrival signals sneezing fits, tickly throats, and itchy eyes.
The dreaded allergy season has been extending over the past decades because of climate change. More carbon in the air is both lengthening the allergy season and intensifying the allergens--bad news for about a quarter of American adults and a fifth of the country’s children who suffer from seasonal allergies.
In a new report from the nonprofit Climate Central, researchers studied temperature data for 203 U.S. cities, from 1990 to 2018, finding that more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is extending seasonal allergy periods. Winters are warming, and spring is arriving more quickly; according to the EPA, the final frost of the year in spring is occurring earlier than at any point since 1895.
The report found that 85% of U.S. cities had a longer spring and summer season—meaning plants are leafing and blooming earlier, extending the pollen season by 20 days on average across the U.S.
Read more from this report: "Seasonal Allergies: pollen and mold"