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Is climate change increasing the pollen count?

Are pollen counts increasing? We speak with experts on what to expect.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A little bit of good news for you, now that we’re in May the tree pollen should start to lessen each day. However, some bad news for you, pollen levels might not always start dropping in May.

THE QUESTION:

Is climate change increasing the pollen count?

OUR SOURCES:

THE ANSWER:

 Yes, climate change is increasing the pollen count.

RELATED: '100% recyclable': Climate game-changer or marketing ploy?

WHAT WE FOUND:  

According to the CDC, the changing climate has caused shifts in precipitation patterns, more frost-free days, warmer seasonal air temperatures, and more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

These changes can affect when the pollen season starts and ends, how much pollen plants create, and how much pollen is in the air.

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

“Human-caused climate change is really changing our pollen seasons, so it's lengthening the number of days that we can have pollen allergies and in addition to it, it has been increasing pollen counts," Dr. Sandra Hong said. They found that it seems to be linked to increased temperatures.”

According to the study in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Journal,” the pollen season has lengthened by 20 days over the past three decades. Pollen concentrations increased by 21%. One of The most affected places is right here in the southeast.

RELATED: Climate change may increase risk of new infectious diseases

And it’s only getting worse. According to the study featured in “Nature Communications," pollen season could end up starting as much as 40 days earlier and last about 15 days longer than it does today. Pollen levels could also triple in some parts of the United States.

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