Allergy season in Cleveland is lasting a lot longer
There's a reason you've been experiencing sneezes, watery eyes and sore throats for longer stretches.
Driving the news: Allergy season — the period between the last freeze each spring and the first freeze each fall — increased by 32 days on average in Cleveland between 1970 and 2021, per an analysis from Climate Central, a nonprofit climate news organization.
- Cleveland's rate is more than double the average increase of 15 days across about 200 U.S. cities during the same period.
Why it matters: The lengthening allergy season is tied to climate change, per Climate Central, with big health ramifications for the roughly one-quarter of Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies, Alex Fitzpatrick and Alice Feng report.
- Earlier springs and longer periods of freeze-free days mean that plants have more time to flower and release allergy-inducing pollen, per Climate Central's analysis.
What's next: Ongoing climate change means further deviation from what was once considered the norm.
- "We do expect that areas that haven't previously had substantial pollen seasons will potentially start to experience pollen seasons," William Anderegg, director of the Wilkes Center for Climate Science & Policy at the University of Utah, told Arielle.
The bottom line: If you've suspected that seasonal allergies have become a more invasive part of your life, now you have solid data backing that up.
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