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      Development of Pollen Concentration Prediction Models

      Journal of the Korean Medical Association

      Korean Medical Association (KAMJE)

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          Impacts of climate change on aeroallergens: past and future.

          Human activities are resulting in increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, and changes in global climate. These, in turn, are likely to have had, and will continue to have, impacts on human health. While such impacts have received increasing attention in recent years, the impacts of climate change on aeroallergens and related allergic diseases have been somewhat neglected. Despite this, a number of studies have revealed potential impacts of climate change on aeroallergens that may have enormous clinical and public health significance. The purpose of this review is to synthesize this work and to outline a number of research challenges in this area. There is now considerable evidence to suggest that climate change will have, and has already had, impacts on aeroallergens. These include impacts on pollen amount, pollen allergenicity, pollen season, plant and pollen distribution, and other plant attributes. There is also some evidence of impacts on other aeroallergens, such as mould spores. There are many research challenges along the road to a more complete understanding of the impacts of climate change on aeroallergens and allergic diseases such as asthma and hayfever. It is important that public health authorities and allergy practitioners be aware of these changes in the environment, and that research scientists embrace the challenges that face further work in this area.
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            Cities as harbingers of climate change: common ragweed, urbanization, and public health.

            Although controlled laboratory experiments have been conducted to demonstrate the sensitivity of allergenic pollen production to future climatic change (ie, increased CO(2) and temperature), no in situ data are available. The purpose of this investigation was to assess, under realistic conditions, the impact of climatic change on pollen production of common ragweed, a ubiquitous weed occurring in disturbed sites and the principal source of pollen associated with seasonal allergenic rhinitis. We used an existing temperature/CO(2) gradient between urban and rural areas to examine the quantitative and qualitative aspects of ragweed growth and pollen production. For 2000 and 2001, average daily (24-hour) values of CO(2) concentration and air temperature within an urban environment were 30% to 31% and 1.8 degrees to 2.0 degrees C (3.4 degrees to 3.6 degrees F) higher than those at a rural site. This result is consistent with most global change scenarios. Ragweed grew faster, flowered earlier, and produced significantly greater above-ground biomass and ragweed pollen at urban locations than at rural locations. Here we show that 2 aspects of future global environmental change, air temperature and atmospheric CO(2), are already significantly higher in urban relative to rural areas. In general, we show that regional urbanization-induced temperature/CO(2) increases similar to those associated with projected global climatic change might already have public health consequences; we suggest that urbanization, per se, might provide a low-cost alternative to current experimental methods evaluating plant responses to climate change.
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              Production of allergenic pollen by ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) is increased in CO2-enriched atmospheres.

              The potential effects of global climate change on allergenic pollen production are still poorly understood. To study the direct impact of rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations on ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) pollen production and growth. In environmentally controlled greenhouses, stands of ragweed plants were grown from seed through flowering stages at both ambient and twice-ambient CO2 levels (350 vs 700 microL L(-1)). Outcome measures included stand-level total pollen production and end-of-season measures of plant mass, height, and seed production. A doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration stimulated ragweed-pollen production by 61% (P = 0.005). These results suggest that there may be significant increases in exposure to allergenic pollen under the present scenarios of global warming. Further studies may enable public health groups to more accurately evaluate the future risks of hay fever and respiratory diseases (eg, asthma) exacerbated by allergenic pollen, and to develop strategies to mitigate them.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of the Korean Medical Association
                J Korean Med Assoc
                Korean Medical Association (KAMJE)
                1975-8456
                2009
                2009
                : 52
                : 6
                : 579
                10.5124/jkma.2009.52.6.579
                © 2009

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

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