Climate change and the implications for pollen allergy sufferers
It is now clear that pollen allergy sufferers will suffer as a result of climate change. This was shown by data from ePIN, the world’s first fully automated pollen information network in the southern Free State of Bavaria.
Impact of climate change on pollen allergy sufferers
“For Bavaria, we were able to prove that climate change has a significant effect on the allergy symptoms of pollen allergy sufferers,” assures Prof. Dr. Jeroen Buters, Section Spokesperson “Environmental/Occupational Medicine” of the German Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology (DGAKI) e. V..
Climate change does not affect all plants in the same way. For example, the pollen count of early bloomers such as hazel, alder and birch starts earlier than before, triggered by a tendency towards higher spring temperatures.
“This means that the pollen count reaches its peak sooner and tree pollen allergy sufferers have to suffer earlier,” explains Prof. Buters, “in addition, the early bloomers produce more pollen and more allergenic proteins.”
It’s different with the grasses. Here, the amount of pollen decreases significantly because the rain evaporates faster in the city. “The grasses get less water and produce less pollen,” explains Prof. Buters, “good for grass pollen allergy sufferers in the cities.”.
Despite variable effects depending on the region, climate zone and settlement, the trend in Bavaria is clear: climate change is changing the conditions for pollen allergy sufferers – probably not for the better.