Sunday, October 5, 2008

Global warming and allergies

Three questions I have been asked:

1. Do I think global warming is real? Yes. As nicely illustrated in this graph, from Hurrell in FSWX Outlook 2002:3: 1-10, which was brought to my attention by an article by Hurrell in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, September 2008 issue. The estimated changes in annual global mean surface temperatures are shown in colored bars. The solid black line represents the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Both values are compared to 1961's values. Both have risen since 1961.

2. Are allergy seasons getting worse? Yes, pollen seasons are longer and have higher counts. This is thought to be from warmer weather and from more carbon dioxide being available.

3. What are you going to do about it? I am only one person and I am not related to Warren Buffett, but that kind of attitude is not going to sustain life on this planet for our descendants. I think everyone has a responsibility: to try to conserve our natural resources; to use renewable energy sources; to waste as little energy as possible; and to recycle.

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