By David L. Brown
There is one more danger to be aware of from global warming—the itchy, scratchy effect of poison ivy. According to an Associated Press report, a study reported in the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science found that higher levels of CO2 allow the noxious weed to grow faster and produce more violent reactions. Here’s an excerpt from the AP story:
Compared to poison ivy grown in usual atmospheric conditions, those exposed to the extra-high carbon dioxide grew about three times larger – and produced more allergenic form of urushiol, scientists from Duke and Harvard University reported.
“The fertilization effect of rising CO2 on poison ivy … and the shift toward a more allergenic form of urushiol have important implications for the future health of both humans and forests,” the study concludes. Read it all.
Despite widespread efforts to minimize the potential effects of global warming, the list of dangerous potential effects continues to grow steadily longer. One thing is for sure: a warmer planet is not going to be a better, more pleasant place.