5-speed listening (Allergies - Level 6)

Climate change extends allergy season



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Not everyone in the world looks forward to the joys of spring. While many people take delight in observing the glory of newly-formed buds revealing their delicate blossoms, others dread this annual phenomenon. That's because blooming plants bring seasonal allergies like hay fever. The National Phenology Network (NPN) in the USA has warned hay fever sufferers that spring has arrived up to four weeks earlier than usual. The pollen that causes so many symptoms is already causing misery. To make matters worse, the warmer weather will prolong hay fever season. The NPN said: "It's a little unsettling. It perhaps isn't surprising, given the trajectory our planet is on."

Phenologists, climatologists and meteorologists are blaming climate change for the unseasonably warmer weather. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that the U.S. winter's average temperature was 2.7 degrees warmer than the 20th century average. Lauren Casey, a meteorologist with Climate Central, told the CNN news agency that climate change is resulting in earlier and longer seasons for plants, causing a greater prevalence of pollen. She said pollen was "the enemy" of people who suffer from allergies. She said pollen can trigger asthma attacks and aggravate mold allergies. Another scientist said: "Acting on climate change really does matter for people's health."

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