Ragweed originated from North America but it has spread quickly across Europe over the past few decades. By 2050 it is expected to affect most of England, presenting a new challenge for hay fever sufferers.
In the journal ‘Nature Climate Change’ the scientists observed that the forecasted levels of global warming and increase in CO2 concentrations will encourage ragweed to proliferate across Europe. With each ragweed plant able to create up to a billion grains of pollen, experts are concerned that this resilient weed could become a serious health problem. It could also extend the dreaded 'hay fever season' well into autumn.
The researchers have predicted a fourfold increase in ragweed pollen levels across Europe by 2050, with areas such as the south of England and northern France expected to experience large increases in pollen levels. Given that ragweed is such a powerful allergy trigger (even more so than grass), these findings will doubtless raise concern amongst the allergy community.
This issue further highlights the importance of doing all that we can to reduce our individual carbon footprints and emissions of greenhouse gases.