Posted on March 25 2021
From PNAS, February 16, 2021
Human-caused climate change could impact respiratory health, including asthma and allergies, through temperature-driven increases in airborne pollen, but the long-term continental pollen trends and role of climate change in pollen patterns are not well-understood. We measure pollen trends across North America from 1990 to 2018 and find increases in pollen concentrations and longer pollen seasons. We use an ensemble of climate models to test the role of climate change and find that it is the dominant driver of changes in pollen season length and a significant contributor to increasing pollen concentrations. Our results indicate that human-caused climate change has already worsened North American pollen seasons, and climate-driven pollen trends are likely to further exacerbate respiratory health impacts in coming decades.
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