Alert! Not only will global warming reportedly melt the ice caps, usher in floods, fires, drought and famine, cause widespread extinctions and enable mosquitos to expand their range, it may also make us sneeze more. This according to a backgrounder e-mail we just received from the environmental advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists.
The group, in its warning, cites several experiments conducted in recent years: One suggests that increased carbon dioxide leads to higher rates of pollen production in loblolly pines; others that more carbon dioxide and higher temperatures cause ragweed to germinate earlier, flower more exuberantly and make more pollen. (On the plus side, we learn elsewhere that more ragweed could be good for quail conservation. There's never a cloud without some silver lining.)
That's it. Now we're really steamed.
Photo: Clairity (from Flickr, Creative Commons license)