The warm winter followed by the freakish March heat wave that turned the start of spring into summer has started a record allergy season with a “blast of tree pollen” across the United States:
The surreal heat that’s baking much of the central and eastern USA has unleashed an unusually early and intense blast of tree pollen, making life miserable for tens of millions of people who suffer from seasonal allergies. Forecasters and allergists blame the unseasonably warm weather, and few cold snaps, for causing plants to bloom weeks earlier. Atlanta, for example, smashed an all-time record with 9,369 particles of pollen per cubic meter on Tuesday, coating the city with a thin, yellow layer of pollen.
Atlanta’s previous record was a pollen count of 6,000 — 1,500 is considered high. Allergist Stanley Fineman, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, told USA Today “his allergist colleagues elsewhere in the South as well as in parts of the Northeast and Midwest are all reporting patients with severe allergy symptoms, due to the recent warm weather.”
The “surreal heat,” scientists agree, was fueled by the greenhouse pollution that is transforming our planet into a hotter, more dangerous place to live.