In January of 1940 I was born at the Presbyterian Hospital on Chicago’s west side. That hospital became Pres-St. Luke’s later and in its current incarnation it is called Rush University Medical Center. I wanted to mention those facts because I currently read their very useful blog posts. As a Midwesterner who has just suffered through the polar vortex, I was not pleased to learn that we may be in store for a pollen vortex. Doctor Payal Patel, an allergy and immunology specialist, wrote the following.
After surviving the polar vortex of 2019, many of us are just itching for some warm weather. But for allergy sufferers, could that itch be worse this year compared to the years past? Is this year truly the worst allergy season?
To answer that question, we must first take into account the climate pattern changes that are predicted to take place in our future. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are predicting a double to triple rise in the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels within the next century. This rise in CO2 levels, in turn leads to changes in temperature and precipitation. Namely, Earth’s average temperature is expected to rise, as will the average global precipitation.
These global changes are the perfect setup for increasing pollen in the environment. This occurs by not only increasing the pollen production by some plants, but also by extending the pollen season. Continue reading