Welcome to pollenapocalypse, asthamegeddon, frankenseason and all the other mashed-up terms that future allergy forecasters may tire us with. Unseasonably warm temperatures and extended seasons have earned 2012 the distinction of being the worst ever for allergy sufferers. But according to a study presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), pollen counts are expected to more than double by 2040.
"Climate changes will increase pollen production considerably in the near future in different parts of the country," said allergist Dr. Leonard Bielory, who presented the research. “Economic growth, global environment sustainability, temperature and human-induced changes, such as increased levels of carbon dioxide, are all responsible for the influx that will continue to be seen."
In the year 2000, pollen counts averaged 8,455 - by 2040 these counts are expected to soar to 21,735 as determined by the study, which is being conducted at Rutgers University in New Jersey. In some sort of nightmarish sneezy lab jungle, allergenic plants are being raised in climate chambers that appropriate future weather patterns, including fluxes in precipitation and temperature.
And not only do they see pollen counts increasing over time, the researchers also found that the season of suffering will begin earlier every year as well.
A prior report by the same researchers revealed an uptick in ragweed pollen from Texas to the Canadian border over the past 25 years, as evidenced by an increase of ragweed pollen by two to three weeks as one moves north.
It's as if the plants are fighting back with the only defense they have. Sneezing, wheezing, and awful itchy eyes ensue...