If your allergies have been bothering you more than usual lately, global warming could be to blame. Time reports that the increasing amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is making it easier for allergy inducing plants to thrive.
Recent research shows that higher levels of CO2 stimulate weeds to produce more pollen, and that the weediest species thrive in high CO2 environments. As temperatures warm, things are expected to get even worse -- northern countries where allergies were once rare will see increasing pollen amounts, and warming will increase the production of ground-level ozone, a pollutant that worsens asthma.
Cases of asthma and other respiratory illness are steadily increasing; the World Health Organization estimates that 300 million people globally have asthma. That rate is up considerably over the past few decades, and scientists say global warming is definitely a factor.
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