This post was originally published on Michigan Chronicle
By Andrea Plaid
If you’re feeling like your allergies are more intense this year, science would agree.
The National Academy of Sciences reported back in 2021 that “human-caused climate change could impact respiratory health, including asthma and allergies, through temperature-driven increases in airborne pollen.”
That warm streak about a week ago — when it was in the high 70 and low 80s for several days — caused the flowers to bloom earlier than usual. That also meant the flowers released their pollen not only earlier but more of them blooming sooner. That increased the levels of pollen in the air. As those warm streaks become more common, it will essentially shorten the winter season and lengthen the spring season—and the allergy season.
In fact, according to Climate Central, a group of scientists and science experts who offer explanations about the climate situation as it affects people’s lives, Detroit’s growing season–which equates to the allergy season—has expanded to 29 days since 1970.
“Earlier spring and longer periods of freeze-free days mean that plants have more time to flower and release allergy-inducing pollen,” Climate Central stated. “Seasonal allergies can already last from early spring through late fall. But warming temperatures and shifting seasonal patterns—both linked to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions—are expanding allergy season and its impacts on respiratory health.”