Another prediction that will not come true.
It’s notoriously difficult to make people care about climate change. It’s a big, slow moving, long term problem that can rarely compete with everyday concerns — and it certainly doesn’t help matters that most people have a difficult time distinguishing between climate change and their everyday weather.
But according to a new study, global warming is something that a large minority of us should care about a great deal indeed — because a large minority of us have allergies. In particular, 20 percent of people are allergic to pollen from various types of grasses. And the new paper, just out in PLOS One, suggests for the first time that in a warmer world with higher atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, those particular kinds of allergies could get a heck of a lot worse.
Grass pollen allergies are a serious health issue. “Peaks in atmospheric grass pollen have been directly correlated to ambulance calls by patients under respiratory stress and ER visits for asthma and wheeze,” notes the new study, conducted by researchers at Harvard and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.