Monday, September 15, 2008

Runny Nose, Itchy Eyes? Blame Global Warming

Recent research suggests that global warming will exacerbate respiratory allergies, as higher CO2 concentrations lead to vast increases in ragweed pollen production. "There's no denying there's a change," says Paul Ratner, an immunologist with the American College of Allergies. "It's definitely bad news for people who have allergies.

Asthma and other respiratory ailments are already on the rise in much of the world. The WHO estimates that 300 million people globally have asthma, with 250,000 dying from the disease each year. One clear reason is rising levels of ragweed pollen - which can be connected directly to rising levels of CO2. Researchers have shown repeatedly that elevated levels of CO2 stimulate weeds to produce pollen out of proportion with their growth rates - meaning you get more pollen per plant, which means more allergies. Even worse, it seems that the weediest species seem to thrive disproportionately in high CO2 environments. The wave of urbanization in America and much of the world doesn't help - the urban environment, often hotter and with more CO2 than rural areas, is ragweed heaven. "Urban places, because of the baking effect of that increased concrete, definitely pollinate more," says Ratner. It doesn't help that warming will also increase the production of ground-level ozone, a respiratory irritant that worsens asthma.

I don't know about others, but sure my nose is busy running around not to mention also the watery eyes. Yes, now I gather what affecting my symptoms all this while. Like the finding says, blame it to the plant and global warming. But, who is responsible for the effect of having the global warming at the first place? Besides the bigger issue of global warming (reminded of recent Al Gore campaign), people like me who are sensitive (with running nose and itchy eyes) is now begins to be aware of what causes our problems. The only question left is how to minimize the sneezing? Be a part of the world global warming prevention afford.......which start at our home.

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