Research team quantifies changes in pollen counts and pinpoints geographic variations
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Many climate change models have predicted increases in pollen levels and associated allergies, as rising carbon dioxide levels and warmer temperatures spur plant growth.
Advances by invasive species are another factor that could lengthen the pollen and allergy season, according to a research team that is starting to quantify the changes across Europe, where pollen counts have gone up from Reykjavik to Thessaloniki.
The biggest changes thus far have been in urban areas, where pollen counts are increasing at the rate of about 3 percent each year, according to Prof. Annette Menzel from the Technische Universität Muenchen. In rural areas, the rate of increase is about 1 percent per year, but the researchers believe climate change will strengthen the trend. (more…)