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Seasonal Allergies Making You Miserable? Science Says It’s Because Of Climate Change

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Allergy seasons are longer and more intense than they were 30 years ago, and according to a new study climate change could be driving that. Itchy eyes. Runny nose. Foggy … everything. The weather is warming and that means it’s time to break out the antihistamines. But does it feel like allergy season starts earlier every year? A new study led by William Anderegg, an ecologist at the University of Utah, shows rising temperatures from climate change can cause pollen seasons to last longer and be more intense than they were just a few decades ago.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Caroline Ballard: What got you interested in the relationship between climate change and allergies?

William Anderegg: I experience and suffer from allergies quite extensively. That’s always made me interested in what are the drivers of pollen and what makes certain allergy seasons really bad. Then, as an ecologist and somebody who studies plants, we’ve known for a long time that plants are very sensitive to temperature. When you turn up the temperature or you turn up the carbon dioxide concentrations in a greenhouse — in a very small controlled environment — they […]

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