Warming on a local, national level leading to an increase in pollen

It may be chilly today, but the overall warming trend is a concern for those with allergies

ROANOKE, Va. – Though our current cold snap provides temporary relief from the sneezing, coughing and itching that comes with allergy season, the growing season as a whole is growing.

This is due, in part, to the warming trend on a local, statewide and national level. In Roanoke City alone, three of the top five warmest years have come within the last decade.

Meteorologist Sean Sublette with Climate Central says the data shows how much longer the growing season has become in our area in the last five decades.

“On any average year, it’s a couple weeks longer than it was about 50 years ago.”

How much longer the growing season has become since 1970 in Roanoke - Climate Central

What that means is that pollen can show up earlier and last longer into the year. For those with more severe allergies, “This can trigger asthma attacks and can lead to more hospitalizations.”

Sublette tells us that’s already been seen in larger urban centers in the Northeast. The main driver to a warming planet is the increased emission in carbon dioxide. A 2014 study in Massachusetts shows that with more carbon dioxide comes an increase in pollen.

How pollen will react to changes in CO2 - Climate Central

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