Friday, February 17, 2017

Photo of the Day: Catkins


I love catkins! The name, the way the dangle like jewelry from the branches of the tree, their cylindricalness. However, being wind-pollinated flowers, catkins are also a vehicle of suffering for people with spring allergies.

Global climate change is expected to increase pollen allergies world-wide in two ways. (1) By extending the growing season in temperate climates, it provides plants with more time to produce pollen. (2) More CO2 in the atmosphere means bigger plants (remember the basic photosynthesis equation? CO2 + Water (in the presence of sunlight and chlorophyll) = sugars + O2. Just think of sugars as more plant mass, and you get the picture. Of course, it isn't exactly that simple but then, nothing in ecology is.

If you are interested, you can read this blog post by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/impacts/climate-and-allergies.html#.WKcAm_krK00

and here is a link to primary research about the expand in pollen season for Ragweed in NA.
http://www.pnas.org/content/108/10/4248.full

#climatechangeisreal #savetheepa #savetheusda#factbasedrealityforthewin #catkinsrock

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