July 1 News: Allergies Getting Worse? Climate Change Could Cause Pollen Counts To Double By 2040

Tree pollen comes earlier, ragweed stays later, and people everywhere are sneezing more due to global warming. [Louisville Courier-Journal]

Lucy Dutton would love to spend hours in her yard tending flowers, but as soon as she goes outside, her throat gets dry and scratchy, her nose stuffs up and she starts coughing.

“It’s part of living near the Ohio River,” the 53-year-old nurse from Fern Creek said of her allergy troubles. “And they’ve gotten worse in recent years.”

Doctors and other experts agree, and they say climate change is partly to blame.

A federal plant physiologist says tree pollen is emerging roughly two weeks sooner in the spring, and ragweed pollen is lingering two to four weeks longer in the fall.

In fact, pollen counts are expected to more than double by 2040, according to a study presented at a meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology last fall.

A major heat wave in the western U.S. tied or broke temperature records in several states and caused one death as well as multiple heat-related illnesses. [The New York Times]


Despite a steady influx of cheap Canadian oil, Midwest gasoline prices haven’t gone down, casting doubt on claims that Keystone XL will lower American gas prices. [InsideClimate News]

Amy Harder lays out a scenario in National Journal where President Obama approves the Keystone pipeline in December. [National Journal]

President Obama pledged $8 billion to the “Power Africa” initiative which would invest in more a more reliable power grid for sub-Saharan Africa. [Forbes]

Climate change is as big a threat to U.K. security as terrorism and cyber-attacks, according to a senior U.K. military commander. [Guardian]

A new study has found a possible link between an active El Nino weather pattern and climate change. [Bloomberg]

Technical hurdles are no longer the reason why solar power plants are not covering the world’s deserts. [Scientific American]


The House members who pushed a recent offshore drilling bill received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the oil and gas industry in the last election cycle. [OpenSecrets]

Electricity in New England is virtually coal-free, with only six coal-fired power plants connected to the grid — two of which are closing. [Environmental Health News]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel blocked legislation last week that would have improved the fuel efficiency of European cars and saved drivers about $600 per year. []

A new project to extract underground gas in Scotland would release tens of thousands of tons of methane over 25 years. [Herald Scotland]

Mother Jones highlights the 21 U.S. rivers that are most at risk of droughts, flooding, agriculture or pollution. [Mother Jones]

Several of the largest cookie companies in the U.K. have pledged to reduce the amount of palm oil in their recipes, which could mean good news in the fight against deforestation. [Guardian]


A remote region of the Peruvian Amazon, home to vulnerable indigenous tribes, will soon be exploited for its oil. [Guardian]

The longest-running concentrated solar power plant in the U.S. is turning 30 years old and looking to upgrade its facilities to be able to store more energy using technology like molten salts. [RenewEconomy]