It's us against phlegm – global warming makes you sneeze

Allergies Worse Than Ever? Blame Global Warming

By Bryan Walsh

Allergy sufferers like to claim — in between sniffles — that each spring’s allergy season is worse than the last. But this year, they might actually be right.

Thanks to an unusually cold and snowy winter, followed by an early and warm spring, pollen counts are through the roof in much of the U.S., especially in the Southeast, which is already home to some of the most allergenic cities in the country. A pollen count — the number of grains of pollen in a cubic meter of air — of 120 is considered high, but in Atlanta last week the number hit 5,733, the second highest level ever recorded in the city. (See a 1992 TIME cover on why allergies are nothing to sneeze at.)

The bad news is that in a warmer world, allergies are likely to get worse — and that’s going to cost sufferers and the rest of us. A new report released on Wednesday by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) found that global warming will likely increase pollen counts in the heavily populated eastern section of the country and that the effect of climate change could push the economic cost of allergies and asthma well above the current $32 billion price tag. “The latest climate science makes it clear that allergies could get much worse,” says Amanda Staudt, a climate scientist at NWF and the author of the report. “I really think this should be a wake-up call.”

Here’s how it works: higher concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere generally speed plant growth, while warmer temperatures mean that spring — and with it, allergy season — arrives earlier. Spring-like conditions in the East are already arriving on average 14 days earlier than just 20 years ago. (See why allergies are on the rise in children.)

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Gosh, it HAS to be CO2, it couldn’t possibly be related to changes in rainfall, sunlight, available nutrients (like fertilizer runoff) or winds. No, only CO2 can make weeds grow like crazy. Apparently the Times writer never heard of Liebigs Law

Read the rest of the story here, then wipe your nose on your sleeve.

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83 thoughts on “It's us against phlegm – global warming makes you sneeze

  1. Well, if the NWF said so, it must be true. They’re right up there with the CRU in scientific standards.
    “higher concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere generally speed plant growth,”…………yep, and we all know that’s bad. There you have it. If we’d all just quit using those silly refrigerators we could save some of that 32 bill.

  2. From Jo Nova:
    The team at CO2science grew seedlings for 42 days in chambers of 450ppm (high) and 1270 ppm (very high) CO2 concentrations. They documented the growth of cowpea plants (Vigna unguiculata) via time-lapse photography, and showed what most market gardeners knew: More CO2 in the air makes for taller, stronger, faster-growing plants. Indeed, CO2 is one of the essential nutrients for plants, and is often the thing that limits their growth. Pretty much all the plants on Earth grow faster when CO2 levels are higher.
    Increased CO2 is well documented to increase plant growth.
    REPLY: True, but so does adequate water, adequate sunlight, and adequate nutrients. Liebigs Law states that plant growth is limited by the lowest available factor. There’s no proof that a 1-2 ppm increase of CO2 from last year is the trigger for a weed explosion. Elevated Co2 levels must be far higher to have significant effects. The factors of water, sun, and nutrients are much more variable than CO2 in our atmosphere. Sorry, fail. – Anthony

  3. So allergies have what to do with wildlife exactly?
    Isn’t it strange as well that the NWF is so concerned about our economic well being and losses due to allergies when they are actively lobbying to have us cripple our economy and throw trillions of dollars down the CO2 hole?
    I’m glad they’re so concerned about me – it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside

  4. I am really not sure why no-one has taken the weatherization program to task. Sealing homes reduces ventilation. Reduced ventilation significantly increases allergens, and any number of organics, mold and particulates in the home. EPAs dirty little secret is indoor air quality has always been worse than outdoor air quality. Weatherization will make this worse. Seems these things only count when it fits an agenda.

  5. According to the best computer modeling New York will be buried under a 100 ft loogie by 2020.

  6. The left is trying to reinvent world, as if allergies had never existed until global warming. As we older people die off, the leftist will no doubt continue their campaign to re-educate the younger people that the world is in chaos without government intervention. It is truly Orwellien. We have stood by and have allowed ourselves to be shamed by accusations of intolerance. We need to stop equating acceptance of idiocy and second rate science as being inclusive and open minded. They are not the same thing.

  7. The source for this article was the National Wildlife Federation, known throughout the rest of the world as the World Wildlife Fund. The WWF is one of the peer reviewed sources in the IPCC’s famous AR4 so this must claim must be true.

  8. 4 billion (20:24:49) : ………so, is plant growth preferable or not? ‘Cause I’m gonna ask them people to dig up those trees I donated money to so they could plant them trees if it’s a bad thing now………………………. Seriously, [snip]??? is it that a group of people got together and decided not to be happy with anything? What a magnificent discovery……increase in plant life equals higher pollen counts. Really? Who’d’ve thunk it.

  9. The date of first DC Cherry Blossom blooms has not changed since they started keeping records.
    http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/cms/index.php?id=404
    This story is yet another bit of AGW folklore.

    COMPARATIVE RECORD OF PAST BUD DEVELOPMENT:
    1992 - PRESENT
    Year 	Green Color In Buds Florets Visible
    2010 	3/14  3/19
    2009 	3/8 	3/12
    2008 	2/19  3/11
    2007 	3/5 	3/20
    2006 	2/28 3/13
    2005 	3/7 3/22
    2004 	3/4 3/12
    2003 	3/17 3/23
    2002 	3/7 3/14
    2001 	2/26 3/11
    2000 	2/29 3/8
    1999 	3/16 3/22
    1998 	2/13 3/1
    1997 	2/21 3/2
    1996 	2/29 3/15
    1995 	3/8 	3/17
    1994 	3/8 	3/20
    1993 	3/15 3/22
    1992 	3/7 	3/15
  10. I’ve had allergies (sometimes severe, life-threatening) all my life. I’ve never demanded that 95% of the population accommodate ME just because I have these health issues.
    And it pisses me off that some people are using people with allergies as a tool to achieve a political goal.

  11. But shouldn’t all that pollen in the air block some sunlight, thus making springtime cooler? I’ve discovered a negative feedback! Now to get a research grant.

  12. Now hand on a cotton picken moment here. Increased CO2 made those plants grow faster and healthier. Let’s put aside the pollen thing for moment, I gots an evolution question to ask.
    When plants evolve, they must by a process of natural selection achieve optimal growth profiles in the climate in which they evolved. Too cold, plant dies. Too warm, plant dies. A cactus in Nevada would thrive in a temperature and precipitation range that would kill a palm tree in florida, and vice versa. So, is there any reason to believe that evolution worked any different in regard to CO2 concentrations? Woujld they not have evolved to a CO2 range that was optimal for them? They must have a “sweet spot” in wich they make maximum use of the available CO2 across a natural number of other factors like prescipitation, nutrients and temperature. By building a database to cross reference all the factors, it should be possible to show the set of conditions the plant was evolving to. Once you know that, combined with the place the plant first appeared and how long ago it appeared, one should be able to say “hey, the spot here is where draconius publianist fajaroso yamal liartentium evvoled 3000 years ago and its ideal growing conditions were 5 degrees higher than now, less rain and 475 ppm CO2 or something like that.
    Seriously, the fact that the plants do so well in an environment with CO2 concentrations so much higher than “normal” suggests that they exolved to handle those higher concentrations, and nothing evolves to handle things that don’t exist. I have long suspected the accuracy of ic core data, would love to see someone take a look at it ffrom this kind of perspective.

  13. lol, I’m just amazed at how quick they turn lately. Why, it seems like just yesterday they were enticing companies to donate money in order to plant trees and save the world. Ahh, such memories……no, wait, that WAS just yesterday!!!!
    As I recollect from my days as an allergy/immunology technician, the tree pollen is dominant during the spring, later grass and then later weeds. But CO2 has probably messed that up too. Well, regardless, being the ever mindful environmental whackjob, I vow to start killing the pollinating plant life in a meaningless, yet symbolic gesture in an attempt to offset the evil CO2 plant induced growth.

  14. (See why allergies are on the rise in children.) <————– I didn't click on that link. I don't want to know what they want to blame their inferior genetic breeding on. But I surmise, it is more prevalent in………..sigh, I'm off to bed before I get out of hand.
    Cheers.

  15. PiperPaul (21:07:05) :
    And it p***** me off that some people are using people with allergies as a tool to achieve a political goal.

    Me, too. My 3-year-old was hospitalized last week for bronchitis/pneumonia, likely onset by allergies. My entire patio is green (I live in the southeast). It’s awful down here.
    Won’t be too long before they’ll start looking for a poster child to advance the agenda.
    It’s just sickening to read this garbage.

  16. While I was mowing the lawn Monday my lawn tractor brushed up against an evergreen tree. The tree retaliated by releasing a cloud of pollen that covered the tractor and me. Fortunately it seems I’m not allegic to that particular brand of pollen as I had no reaction to it.

  17. As sure as daylight follows the sun’s rise every day, stories on the imagined horrors we face from global warming follow every unusual weather event (if nothing else, the media is boringly predictable in its reporting on climate events).

  18. I have allergies and live in North Carolina. This year was actually easy for me so far. How ever I did notice a huge amount of pine tree pollen, my water tanks are yellow and my critters have yellow muzzles this week.
    I think the higher than normal rain fall this winter, with below freezing cold followed by a sudden week of very warm temperatures was the trigger not CAGW. The plants in my neck of the woods went from dormant to full out growth in a week.
    However the temperatures are still cool with highs of 50F to 80F compared to several days of 98F in April of 2004.

  19. Damn, Time has exposed the key evidence of my theory that the EU-based, UN supporting pharma industry is actually behind the funding of global warming because it is determined to make us allergy pill addicts before I had a chance to link WUWT readers to my site where they could download (for a small fee) my expose of this global Marxist scam (DYK: Karl Marx’s great step uncle went to school to be a pharmacist but his bourgeois professor apprenticed him to be a toad exterminator in Upper Silesia instead—apparently toads were thought to be a real problem there before the Great War).

  20. This bizarre story, along with an absolutely fallacious claim that Spring pollen is somehow a more powerful allergen because of AGW was all over radio today. One has to wonder at the sheer stupidity of the newsreader.

  21. Let’s put this in perspective. I have NO pollen allergies. As a Celt, I’m good for twenty minutes in the sun before fever, vomiting, diarhea and bad judgement kick in. My half-asian children have no pollen allergies and laugh at the sun. The obvious answer to climate change is miscegnation.

  22. And out West my Spring ran screaming into a cave after seeing Phil.
    Black clouds, rained all night & day, cold, damp, trees refuse to bud.
    Been cold since early Dec.
    Well, if it ain’t worth complaining about, it’s not weather.

  23. it’s too bad this is such a poorly written story. alarmist stories like this distort the actual science behind the story. i wish they would have linked to the actual study. guess I’ll have to search for it to read behind the media’s lines

  24. I’m going to pick a fight! With you Anthony!
    When I am not busy with my birdfeeder I garden. I have four raised beds for vegies and my beloved Libby grows flowers. I have done some study about gardening. Rodale’s notions about intensive raised bed gardens have strongly influenced my practices since I have limited space. I have built a greenhouse like cap to fit over one of my beds. I am familiar with Liebig’s Law. As an experiment I put some dry ice in my little greenhouse. The spurt in plant growth was nearly unbelievable. Dry ice [frozen CO2] is now regularly used especially with my seedlings with consistant results.
    It would be easy to say that I have created by soil amendments and watering a situation where CO2 is in short supply. But the object of Rodale’s ideas is to replicate rich natural soil with little or no chemical fertilizers. I submit that my little experiment implies that there may be a shortage of CO2 for optimum plant growth in our atmosphere. Commercial greenhouses certainly agree with me when they pump up CO2 levels to 1000pm.
    The point of all this is that when excellent conditions are achieved [a situation which frequently occurs in nature] CO2 shortage stunts plant growth. I believe you are a renaissance man Anthony [a high accolade], but I’ll believe you’re a master gardener when you tell me so.
    The birds love my vine ripe tomatos.
    REPLY: No fighting needed. No doubt about the value of CO2 for plant growth, but we are talking about doubling, tripling, to have any real effect. For example ponder this video from CO2 Science:

    Clearly, the growth effect is prominent at 1270 ppm, much like what you experienced with dry ice enrichment of the air with CO2. So yes, at 388 ppm right now, we are a bit low compared to what plants might like.
    But to claim hay fever causing weeds and plants are growing bezerk over a change of 2 ppm in the last year is just plain junk science. – Anthony

  25. Dear Americans, Harry Reid is laying the groundwork to push through a new cap-and-trade bill in the US:
    http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/91761-reid-pushing-very-hard-for-climate-bill
    We all know this is not about saving the environment, but rather to provide a financial windfall to Obama’s administration to fund their BIG GOVERNMENT agenda. There is already a precedent for this: In Australia, the prime minister Kevin Rudd’s attempt to ram through an emissions trading scheme in parliament last year to create a $120 billion gov slush fund ended in abject failure and humiliation.
    Let’s get real for one second. The US government doesn’t give a [snip] about you. They let you buy guns and cancer-causing cigarettes at Walmart–think about it. Why would they be so concerned about saving you from global warming?
    Is it because global warming is Obama’s ticket to guilt middle-class taxpayers into willingly paying for huge increase in taxes? Note that Obama promised “no new taxes” during his campaign for president. Unfortunately, the only certainties in life are death, taxes, and lying politicians.
    Here’s my challenge to Obama: if global warming is real as you say, then quit smoking RIGHT [snip]NOW because YOU are adding more co2 to the atmosphere that MY taxpayer money will end up being used to pay for.
    Further note how Obama is attempting to circumvent the democratic electoral process by forcing through carbon taxes via EPA rulings.
    I’m sorry to say that England and The Brits are [snip]. Their government is so deeply involved in carbon emissions trading that there is no way back for them, short of a citizen revolution. I would not be surprised to see an uprising similar to the recent one in Kyrgyzstan (caused by high energy prices and cronyism) take place in the UK in the next 5 to 10 years.

  26. 50 years ago, hardly anyone went to the doctor with allergy symptoms. Why, because there was almost nothing that could be done. It would have been a waste of time.
    The increase in the number of people seeking treatment for allergies now compared to 50 years ago is more related to medical science than to climate science.

  27. “It’s us against phlegm”
    Brilliant! LOL.
    Ah yes, the NWF. I guess their usual business of ‘Conservation Biology’ junk science just didn’t use up enough of their huge junk science budget.

  28. “Paul Z. (22:48:13) :
    I’m sorry to say that England and The Brits are [snipped]. Their government is so deeply involved in carbon emissions trading that there is no way back for them, short of a citizen revolution. I would not be surprised to see an uprising similar to the recent one in Kyrgyzstan (caused by high energy prices and cronyism) take place in the UK in the next 5 to 10 years.”
    I believe that if politicians do not get off the bandwagon then the agw agenda is driving relentlessly to this conclusion.

  29. Bonny Prince Charles is reputed to talk to his plants claiming that they respond with increased growth. Maybe he’s right! Could be that gassing closely to the dear things envelops them in co2 which they just love…

  30. I find this a bit of refreshingly comical news. They now threaten us with allergies – so as a mitigation strategy against global warming (which can’t be stopped anymore) i propose antihistamins every now and then.
    I think i can handle that. It’s even cheaper than dikes.

  31. I read an article recently — not online — pointing out that it had become fashionable in landscaping to plant lots of male trees fruit trees that flowered in the spring. The corresponding female trees were never planted because no one wanted to deal with the fruit they produced, which ends up lying rotten on the ground. I’ve looked around, and by golly there are a lot of flowering trees around now which weren’t there several decades ago The article blamed this trend for the growing prevalence of spring pollen allergies, and I think they have a point.

  32. Paul Z. (22:48:13) :
    Mods lost their scissors for that comment? There may be children present (and the swearing did not enhance the comment one iota).
    Reply: Thanks. It wasn’t me, but fixed now. Paul Z if you see this, further use of profanity is a temptation to hit the delete button rather than take the time to clean it up. ~ ctm

  33. I can’t resist pointing out to you that I’m in my 70’s, and I still have copies of the National Geographic magazine discussing the problems of pollen counts 50 years ago. People moved in the USA from the coast to inland areas, and they were quite O.K. with their asthma problems. That was until they missed the gardens and shrubs that they used to grow “back home” on the coast.
    I have a special interest in the issue for family reasons, and available water for gardens seems to be a major part of the answer, more than CO2 levels…
    No available water equals no flowering shrubs. Tough on the birds though.!
    The green movement is good in principle, BUT not for the people allergic to high pollens counts world wide,it seems. Jo Nova’s comment seemed O.K. !

  34. I liked the statement:
    “The latest climate science makes it clear that allergies COULD [my emphasis] get much worse,” says Amanda Staudt, …..”
    ‘Clear’ and ‘could’ seems to be a mite oxymoronic.

  35. Add it to the list of nasty effects all allegedly caused by non-existent global warming.
    When global cooling starts in earnest (later this year, apparently), it will be interesting to see what side effects will be ascribed to THAT particular phenomenon.
    Let’s see, feeling cold, asthma from smoke inhalation from the fires we’ll need to build to keep ourselves warm, hunger, desertification, strife and warfare, crop failure, for starters. Oh, roll on the good times. I suspect CO2 will become our friend…

  36. Anthony,
    Like you, I live in California’s Central Valley, which as everyone knows, is the hay fever capital of the universe. Unfortunately, most allergy meds are worse than the original problem for me. The good news is that I’ve stumbled across several DIY approaches that are helpful for this particular sample size of one. Example. During the peak of my hay fever season in May, I can handle much more outdoor time if I stay in the shade and minimize direct sun exposure.
    If you think that it would be of interest to the skeptical readership here, I’d be happy to start writing up a guest-post about my remedies for Global-Warming-induced hay fever, and then run it by you or ctm.

  37. In Japan they have a pollen forecast by the TV weatherpeople. Why? Because after the end of world war two, the Japanese government started planting non-indigenous cedar trees to replace the indigenous deciduous forests which were cut down to supply material for the then war effort.
    These non-indigenous cedar trees are fast, aggressive growing trees which release clouds of pollen every spring/summer season and have made life a misery for vast swathes of Japanese hayfever sufferers. What’s even more interesting is the lack of effort to try to reintroduce the indigenous varieties which were originally there – so now they’re stuck with what amounts to an allergy-causing ecological disaster.
    Another reason as to why the above report is arrant nonsense – and the only involvement of CO2 in the making of this allergy disaster, is the amount of CO2 used by the cedar trees.

  38. I read the rest of the “Time” article. It included an assertion that pine trees don’t produce pollen!

  39. Sarcasm:
    The CO2 fertilized plant growth holds more terrible threats than allergies!
    In a recent report to be included in AR5 2012, a WWF funded study on daffodils growth in Central Park found that human induced CO2 may have even worse effects than we thougth.
    The study was carried out on three plants over a three year period.
    The results was a follows:
    Year one – average stem length 7 cm.
    Year two average stem length 7.5 cm
    Year three average stem length was 8.5cm.
    (The stems were measured on sligthly different times each year. However, the data has been homogenized to account or this).
    The study found that the extreme and accelerating growth correlates perfectly with the increase in CO2 from 380ppm to 382ppm in the same period.
    The super computer models find that by 2023, it is very likely that daffodil stems in teh Manhattan area will reach thirty meters, provided the CO2 continues to rise as expected.
    If the CO2 levels are doubled, as the models project will be the case by 2045, the average stem lengths will very likely be more than 350 meters.
    According to the predictions, it is very likely that the extreme and accelerating growth will make the Manhattan area uninhaitable for and lead to mass extinction of a numbe rof local, specialy adapted species (city pigeons and rats to name few).
    On a positive note, the daffodils are expectd to suck up and bind large amounts of water, thus the predicted sea level rise is expected stop short of 5 meters by 2100 instead of the 8 meters previously predicted
    The models have not yet been scaled to do global simulations, though it is likely that the effects will be the same globally. More research is needed to reach firm conclusions in this respect.
    /sarcasm

  40. Spring-like conditions in the East are already arriving on average 14 days earlier than just 20 years ago.

    Hmmm, let’s see what we can find in the Google News archives, shall we? How about this article from the New York Times dated April 13, 1989:
    Early Pollens Make March, April and May The Cruelest Months
    “Tree pollens are already at an early-spring peak in the Southeast, where allergists say this is one of the worst seasons ever. The pollens have begun to sprinkle the Northeast, and over the next few weeks many residents in the New York area will face the sneezing, tears, runny nose, itchy eyes, headaches and general misery more often associated with ragweed in August.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/1989/04/13/us/health-allergies-early-pollens-make-march-april-and-may-the-cruelest-months.html
    Also this one from April 5, 1995:
    Personal Health; How to survive allergy season.
    http://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/05/us/personal-health-how-to-survive-allergy-season.html
    Fast forward 15 years later to April 5, 2010, and the New York Times has an excellent story on why allergy season has gotten so much worse in major American cities since the 1960s and 70s. It has nothing to do with global warming (I know, shocking coming from the New York Times — This is a must read!):
    Allergy-Free New York
    “Street trees weren’t always as allergenic as they are today. Back in the 1950s, the most popular species planted in the United States was the native American elm, which sheds little pollen. Millions of these tall, stately trees lined the streets of towns and cities from coast to coast. Sadly, in the 1960s and ’70s, Dutch elm disease killed most of the elms, and many of them were replaced with species that are highly allergenic.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/06/opinion/06ogren.html

  41. @Paul Z. (22:48:13) :
    “I’m sorry to say that England and The Brits are [snip]. Their government is so deeply involved in carbon emissions trading that there is no way back for them, short of a citizen revolution. I would not be surprised to see an uprising similar to the recent one in Kyrgyzstan (caused by high energy prices and cronyism) take place in the UK in the next 5 to 10 years.”
    I would be very surprised indeed to see any such popular uprising in Britain. The populace is deeply anaesthetised, generally incurious about anything other than our equivalents of bread and circuses; we have a vast unemployed welfare underclass who are supported by government handouts to an enormous extent and a banking/business class rubbing their hands at the prospect of another profitable bubble in CO2 indulgences – both these groups are perfectly capable of seeing which side their bread’s buttered on. We also have an increasingly politicised state-controlled education system which promotes the paralysis of personal judgement and independence, nanny-statism and catastrophic global warming “theory” and the state is rapidly developing surveillance and compliance systems to extend control to an absolute level over the entire population.
    We loathe and despise our politicians, more than ever before, but the majority of British are most unlikely to do anything at all about it except roll over and “think of England”. So yes, we are indeed thoroughly, totally fucked and will become the revised version of the old GDR very soon indeed. And, never forget, we have no right to bear arms. Now, excuse me while I go see whether the X-Factor’s on tonight (I certainly don’t intend to watch our equivalent of the 3 Stooges, our party leaders, “debating” their identical lies on the box tonight). If not, I’ll be down the pub getting blind drunk to forget about it all – the current British answer to just about anything you can think of.

  42. Apologies, I missed the mods bits about profanity and quoted the earlier post. Please snip the offending word(s) though I’d be grateful if you’d retain the body of my post nvertheless.

  43. Mods: suitably adjusted version of my earlier post.
    @Paul Z. (22:48:13) :
    “I’m sorry to say that England and The Brits are ******. Their government is so deeply involved in carbon emissions trading that there is no way back for them, short of a citizen revolution. I would not be surprised to see an uprising similar to the recent one in Kyrgyzstan (caused by high energy prices and cronyism) take place in the UK in the next 5 to 10 years.”
    I would be very surprised indeed to see any such popular uprising in Britain. The populace is deeply anaesthetised, generally incurious about anything other than our equivalents of bread and circuses; we have a vast unemployed welfare underclass who are supported by government handouts to an enormous extent and a banking/business class rubbing their hands at the prospect of another profitable bubble in CO2 indulgences – both these groups are perfectly capable of seeing which side their bread’s buttered on. We also have an increasingly politicised state-controlled education system which promotes the paralysis of personal judgement and independence, nanny-statism and catastrophic global warming “theory” and the state is rapidly developing surveillance and compliance systems to extend control to an absolute level over the entire population.
    We loathe and despise our politicians, more than ever before, but the majority of British are most unlikely to do anything at all about it except roll over and “think of England”. So yes, we are indeed thoroughly, totally ****** and will become the revised version of the old GDR very soon indeed. And, never forget, we have no right to bear arms. Now, excuse me while I go see whether the X-Factor’s on tonight (I certainly don’t intend to watch our equivalent of the 3 Stooges, our party leaders, “debating” their identical lies on the box tonight). If not, I’ll be down the pub getting blind drunk to forget about it all – the current British answer to just about anything you can think of.

  44. The bad news is that in a warmer world, allergies are likely to get worse…
    The other bad news is that in a *cooler* world, allergies are likely to get worse, too.
    Plants will throw seeds like crazy if the winter is going to be bad — it increases the chance that at least some will survive to sprout the following spring. I have white, pitch, and Virginia pines growing in my yard, and when the ground is ankle-deep in cones in September and October, it’s going to be a tough winter.

  45. @RichieP (02:58:48)
    C’mon! I’m not having that!
    I’m no fan of the 3 Stooges but they were absolute geniuses compared to our fearless “leaders”!
    Better looking, too!

  46. @Martin Brumby (04:19:39) :
    “@RichieP (02:58:48)
    C’mon! I’m not having that!
    I’m no fan of the 3 Stooges but they were absolute geniuses compared to our fearless “leaders”!
    Better looking, too!”
    My profound apologies, no offence intended. Perhaps I should not have capitalised it in the way I did, as the three “leaders” are in any case stooges in the literal sense:
    stooge (stj)
    n.
    1. The partner in a comedy team who feeds lines to the other comedian; a straight man.
    2. One who allows oneself to be used for another’s profit or advantage; a puppet.

  47. davidmhoffer (21:23:55)
    Hi, I posted a reply (kind of) to this question on Jo Nova’s site yesterday. Antony has already pointed out that factors other than CO2 are generally limiting plant growth (nitrogen more often than not) so increasing CO2 into the battleground that plants usually have to survive in won’t make the huge improvement shown by plants grown in nutrient rich, moist, sunny, heated greenhouses with CO2 enrichment. I’ve copied & pasted the rest of my reply below (very lazy – sorry)
    “For me, one of the key pieces of evidence that we’re living on a planet with CO2 levels currently at the very bottom of the normal range is that a whole new group of plants evolved several million years ago specifically to cope with it. They developed a new method of photosynthesis called C4 which permits greater water efficiency and the ability to photosynthesise in higher temperatures at greatly reduced CO2 levels. Just do a Wiki on ‘C4 photosynthesis’. An even more robust adaption called CAM was evolved by plants like cacti which we now see living in deserts. But even these can’t grow in the Sahara – no water, no nitrogen, no nothing.
    Despite a probable increase in net biomass with increasing CO2 concentrations, there could be a loss in plant biodiversity as the big greedy plants with a high relative growth rate totally out-compete everything else. This happens anywhere you add loads of any nutrients of any sort to an ecosystem and upset the delicate battle for resources. The analogy is similar to acid soils (lots of nutrients) which are generally species poor and dominated by big greedy hooligan-like plants vs alkaline soils which are nutrient poor but very species rich.”
    So there is indeed a suggestion that more ancient plants are now living in a world where CO2 levels are much lower than when they first evolved.

  48. As a couple previous commentators (e.g. QZR, Daniel H) note, a large part of the current allergy epidemic has more to do with the poorly thought out choice of street trees than any change in atmospheric CO2 or slight changes in Spring blooming time. Lots of other complications that have nothing to do with climate and everything to do with how our immune systems mature and operate also seem to be involved. But who cares about trying to understand or solve problems? Our rulers just need hype to keep us confused and following orders, and AGW works well enough for that.

  49. All this talk about an insignificant rise in CO2…
    I live in metro Atlanta. After over three years of draught conditions, we were drenched with over 69 inches of rain last year (almost 20 inches above average), that greatly replenished the groundwater levels.
    Of course plant life rebounded this year. I have flowers coming back that I haven’t seen in two years.
    And pollen would not be nearly as bad if pine forests hadn’t been cut down, homes built, and landscaped yards featuring a multitude of trees, bushes, grasses, and flowers installed. In a virgin pine forest, you have pine trees spaced out, a thick floor of pine needles, and not much other vegetation.
    CO2? Yeah, that might have helped…a little. Global warming? Considering that we had record cold Winter temps, and normal Spring temps, not so much.

  50. RichieP (04:41:50),
    If you’re going to use old timey language like ‘stooges,’ then that makes the taxpayers the chumps.
    [Liked your 02:58:48 essay, BTW.]

  51. @Smokey (05:01:31) :
    “If you’re going to use old timey language like ’stooges,’ then that makes the taxpayers the chumps.”
    No change there then! (Though please note I speak only for the UK.)

  52. Do you expect any different from Time/CNN? This has two things going for it that makes CNN like it. The first is that is bad news and can somehow being blamed on us humans. The second is that it affects Atlanta. This wouldn’t be news to CNN if it didn’t affect Atlanta. I stopped watching CNN when they spent 30 minutes talking about a severe thunderstorm in Atlanta, like all of America is interested in what happens in that city. That was many years ago. I haven’t watched since.
    Here is what CNN isn’t telling you. The pollen this year came a perfect time. I live in North Carolina and yes the pollen was really bad here. It was bad because the southeast went from cold and rainy to warm and sunny. We haven’t had a rainstorm of note in weeks. When it rains, the pollen is washed out of the air and off the trees. It was a combination of coincidences, and not AGW, that caused pollen to be so bad this year.
    But a combination of coincidences is not bad news and it does not get ratings. Ah, but when global warming is causing bad pollen … that does get ratings. People have short memories, and who can remember what the pollen was like many years ago? This is a perfect chance to exploit that. Did you expect any less from CNN? I’ve heard some people call it “Constant Negative News”, others “Communist News Network”. CNN lost me as a viewer many years ago with their narcissistic negative news.

  53. I’m trying to find a list of things which are *not* harmed, destroyed or exacerbated by global warming (erm, climate change). I’m sure, by now, it’s a very short list on the verge of extinction.

  54. I have my own theory on allergy increases, and it has nothing to do with global warming causing a greater increase in trees, weed, etc.
    Consider our behavioral changes over the past few decades, the attempt to live in a safe, sterile environment, and we’ll see that when exposed to the harsh realities of the great outdoors we are not able to cope as well as we were.
    The bell-curve of human endurance (mentally and physically) has flattened, and continues to flatten. We are seeing humans pushing the boundaries of achievement, but at the same time, the low end of the scale is seeing an increase in the number of people ill-equipped to cope. We are, on the whole, distinctly as average as we were hundreds of years ago.

  55. So Time Magazine is admitting that more CO2 is good for plants! That’s a very good start IMO. The fact that Time even acknowledges the connection between allergies and parents sheltering their newborn babies inside an industrial clean room environment underscores a chink in their blind obdience to the alarmist crowd.
    Yes it’s true, whoever suffers from pollen allergies will likely suffer more as plants become HEALTHIER thanks to CO2, (let them retreat back into the clean room their parents put them in when they were babies…), but there no room for alarmists to argue that the allergic reaction itself is the result of AGW. It clearly is not. It would be like blaming flooding for people not knowing how to swim.

  56. Just wanted to say that the original Three Stooges gave value for the money that was freely given to them…

  57. As any landscaper knows, stressing a plant will make it stronger. This winter caused a lot of stress on all plants. Some couldn’t handle the stress and died, i.e. my coconut palms and even my bougainvilleas. But those that could handle it have grown back bigger and stronger. The leaves on the plumbagos and oak trees are the largest I have seen since living at this location. My citrus trees have enormous amounts of buds this spring, the most I have seen on these trees. We also have had a wet spring which is definitely a contributing factor.
    Like a human muscle, when plants are stressed and fed properly they respond favorably.

  58. I don’t suffer from allergies but I often use them as an excuse to leave work early and arrive late the next day. So to the NWF I just have one thing to say:
    BRING IT ON!
    And that goes for Gore too.

  59. I too read the rest of the “Time” article. Not only does it assert that pines do not produce pollen, It bases its springtime allergy claims – in amazingly precise terms – on increased production of, and increased allergic response to, “spring ragweed”. In fact, all ragweeds (genus Ambrosia) bloom in late summer and in the fall. This story is made out of whole cloth.

  60. RESULTS: Farmers’ children had lower prevalences of hay fever (adjusted odds ratio = 0. 52, 95% CI 0.28-0.99), asthma (0.65, 0.39-1.09), and wheeze (0.55, 0. 36-0.86) than their peers not living in an agricultural environment. The reduction in risk was stronger for children whose families were running the farm on a full-time basis as compared with families with part-time farming activity. Among farmers’ children increasing exposure to livestock was related to a decreasing prevalence of atopic diseases (aOR = 0.41, 95% CI 0.23-0.74). CONCLUSIONS: Factors related to environmental influences on a farm such as increased exposure to bacterial compounds in stables where livestock is kept prevent the development of allergic disorders in children.
    Some of the worst allergy patterns are among city dwellers. Inside the home is bad. Farm homes without the UHI effect have their windows open more often at night. Kids raised on raw milk on the farm also much lower allergy problems and asthma rates. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10651770?ordinalpos=107&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
    This allergy suffering is miserable. The city scientist that really doesn’t do research and writes stuff is worse. Out in the country is where pollens thrive.

  61. Conclusions: Our study adds to the evidence that a farm childhood in combination with current livestock farming protects against allergic disorders. This effect was found for both organic and
    conventional farmers
    http://oem.bmj.com/content/64/2/101.abstractentional farmers.
    The Liberal media writes anything they want and really doesn’t even do google research.

  62. I’ll tell you what else is doing good – mosquitoes!
    The other day, I found an old rake that had fallen over, and the plastic head was holding about a quarter inch of water, and at least 2 dozen wigglers were swimming around in it!
    Then yesterday I had a duke-it-out with about the biggest, hairiest one I have ever seen. You know, you smack ’em and you smack ’em, and they don’t squish! Right here, at the computer.
    Watch the skies people!

  63. How is our Main Stream Media different from Pravda? Government cheerleading all the time. Leading to…….”we need to control you more”. This insidious malfeasance is the greatest threat to democracy.
    And only a small percentage of people even recognize that it’s happening. It is why when you try to explain something to someone you feel as though you have to grab them by the shoulders and shake them. They are brain dead zombies of the MSM propaganda.
    It’s very scary. Seriously, it is.

  64. I think Henry has something – I grew up on a nut/rice farm, and I can stand in the orchard during the bloom and feel nothing. My husband and son puff up like blowfish – their eyelids puff up so big their eyelashes look like little spines sticking out. They sneeze and get dizzy – it’s a real problem. But I can stand out there all day and not even sniffle.
    And you know what – the mosquitoes don’t really bother me the way they bother some people either. I don’t like them and worry they might carry disease, but the bites don’t swell up or itch like they do some people.
    More evidence that a farm childhood is superior 🙂

  65. Never turn down an inadvertant gift from a foolish enemy:
    Pollen is literally the seeds of Life. Here the Warmistas are claiming that Life is going to benefit from CO2 induced changes. Corollaries not mentioned: more food for the hungary…..more, not less, biodiversity in a warm era with abundant plant food.
    Under the sign: “Happiness is a warm Planet!”, the Truth will be found.

  66. Typo, sorry, more food for the “hungry”…. Hungary may have more food for its hungry people, as well.
    KW

  67. Typical propaganda from the sophists with an agenda. I have suffered from pollen and dust related sensitivities since a child. It is true that they have gotten more annoying as I have grown younger (at age 50 I started counting backwards so am now only 33). This increased annoyance is highly correlated to many things; the state of the global climate less so then living in the forest and sneezing in the presence of spruce pollen every spring, however. But then correlation is not causation, is it.

  68. no early spring around here. in fact, opening day is likely to see 100% ice cover on local lakes, as opposed the normal 100% fishing boat cover.
    at least in the southwest, increased pollen this year would more likely be caused by the very wet winter’s concomitant plant growth.
    speaking only from actual observation of course, no models or projections on which to rely

  69. There are two strands in this report, in the wrong order. The NWF report can only be based on 2009 [or earlier] data, and as such could make some kind of sense :
    Using 2009 Data :
    A ‘new’ report by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) found that global warming will likely increase pollen counts in the heavily populated eastern section of the country. Higher concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere generally speed plant growth, while warmer temperatures mean that spring — and with it, allergy season — arrives earlier. Spring-like conditions in the East are already arriving on average 14 days earlier than just 20 years ago.
    NWF should also conclude that a warmer planet encourages plant growth, which absorbs more CO2 and leads to cooling.
    Unfortunately the winter of 2009/10 has changed all that, making the report outdated, particularly the idea of spring arriving earlier!
    The reality of 2010 :
    The long cold winter delayed the onset of spring. Instead of the normal staggered growth of various plant species, when the warm weather eventually arrived all the plants grew at the same time, leading to unusually high pollen counts.
    The question is whether last winter is the new ‘normal’. The solar driven climate model suggests ‘yep’!
    Even some of the ever flexible AGW supporters are now factoring in 50 years of a cooler Earth, though also saying that, when you least expect it, AGW will jump out of the shadows and HACK YOU TO DEATH! In the best slasher movie scenario, you will never be able to kill off AGW, it will always be lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce. [Please keep sending the cheques!]

  70. Since all of us human beings have to eat food, this is a very good thing. So which way would anyone reasonable want it to be? Some suffering allergies, and all eat well, or fewer or less allergic reactions and all live in famine?

  71. Annei (02:26:26) :
    “I read the rest of the “Time” article. It included an assertion that pine trees don’t produce pollen!”
    WHAT!! Pine trees produce a “huge” size pollen that is yellow in color and coats everything, the car, the windshields, the water in the water troughs…..
    Pine pollen may ruin your car’s paint finish but it is so large in size it normally does not produce the allergic reaction other tree pollen does. (that is according to my allergist)

  72. Thanks to an unusually cold and snowy winter, followed by an early and warm spring, pollen counts are through the roof in much of the U.S., especially in the Southeast,
    I spent c8 weeks during Febrary and March in SW Florida. It has been a (much) colder than usual winter in FL. With pretty constant NW or NE winds that continued thoughout March. Not much sign of “an early and warm spring” there.

  73. Bryan Walsh loves to print these contradictory claims. You know, East Coast blizzards to be common place with global warming because warm air has a higher moisture capacity than cold air. Spring is coming early because it’s warmer and plants will spew out more pollen. Too bad it was 10+ F COLDER than average when it snowed, all throughout the eastern U.S. in Feb. Too bad spring was LATE by a week in the eastern U.S. this year. Regardless of whether Spring came earlier, how would that EVER translate into unusually high pollen counts? The trees do not know any different; they react, it isn’t as if they say “da** people for making me wake up early and bud, I cast extra pollen unto thee!”

  74. Gail Combs/b> (10:25:14) :
    WHAT!! Pine trees produce a “huge” size pollen that is yellow in color and coats everything, the car, the windshields, the water in the water troughs…..
    And it sticks. Pine pollen is nature’s way of letting you see what you’d be driving if you had ordered your car with a canary yellow paint job.

  75. Captain Cosmic (04:45:52): Despite a probable increase in net biomass with increasing CO2 concentrations, there could be a loss in plant biodiversity as the big greedy plants with a high relative growth rate totally out-compete everything else. This happens anywhere you add loads of any nutrients of any sort to an ecosystem and upset the delicate battle for resources
    Uh oh. Here’s comes the “delicate balance of nature” argument again. Darwin would disagree, Capt. Cosmic. There is NO SUCH THING as the “balance of nature”. It’s a jungle out there, and a struggle from the get go. Every species that’s living has a competitive advantage or they would have been out-competed to extinction. Big greedy plants!!!!! Try not to get your pop ethics tangled up in your dispassionate science.
    BTW, a 1% change in CO2 is NOT loading the nutrients on. Also, I suggest MiracleGrow, not dry ice, in greenhouses. It’s cheaper and doesn’t drive the temperature down. Greenhouses are as much about keeping the plants warm as anything else, because frost kills the seedlings and cold makes them grow slow. Warmer Is Better when it comes to plants. For example, compare the plant biomass and diversity on a typical Amazon acre to that on a typical Antarctica acre.

  76. Hi,
    You seem to have got the wrong end of the stick – I’m on your side! I never said anything about a silly Gaia-like ‘balance’ (in fact I didn’t say ‘balance’ at all, did I?)- all plants and animals live on the edge of existance and death by starvation is never far away. So it is a ‘battle’ and a ‘battleground’, words I used above.
    The reason for biodiversity is generally due to patchiness in habitats, there’s slightly more light here, less water there, more nitrogen here. The ‘battle’ is about plants developing subtly different strategies to cope with these slightly different conditions. One species will always outcompete another in a particular microhabitat – ‘competitive exclusion’ – so patchiness is the key to biodiversity.
    If you consider that it is nitrogen in nature is normally the most limiting factor and is also very patchy, then those ‘greedy’ plants that have evolved to live in places with high nutrients (such as stinging nettles for example) will simply spring up everywhere if you dump a lot of fertiliser in a habitat. Urtica dioica (nettles) if I remember correctly hold the ‘world record’ for the rate of uptake and use of nitrogen so there is nothing that can live with them in a nitrogen unlimited habitat. In no time they will have completely taken over (they’re a nuisance but now you’ve got to admire them!). This is why agricultural runoff into rivers etc causes such concerns.
    I’m a plant ecologist so am reasonably familiar with Darwinian theories. I’m not one of those silly hippy conservationists either, I consider the process of nature far more important than the end result. I was trying to add a little more detail to the debate, that’s all. I think both sides of the AGW debate don’t do themselves any favours when they over-simplify ideas. Shouting people down and insulting those who are trying to add something constructive to the debate happens often on these blogs which is a shame. After all, one of our biggest criticisms of the ‘other side’ is that they lack objectivity, isn’t it?

  77. Am I the only one to point out that there are both pollen and MOLD allergies? One is greater when warm and dry the other is greater when damp and cool…
    You don’t get MORE allergies with warmth, you get DIFFERENT allergies.
    Also, do I have to be the one to point out that there is always some plant that is happy with whatever the temperature regime happens to be, so you will simply be shifting the particular plants making pollen if you change the temperature (in either direction…)
    There is NO escape… The Pollen and Mold will find you!!! 😉

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