Environment

Longer Pollen Season

Human-caused climate change has both worsened and lengthened pollen seasons across the U.S. and Canada, a new study reports.

Climate change has two broad effects, according to the study. First, it shifts pollen seasons earlier and lengthens their duration. Second, it increases the pollen concentrations in the air so pollen seasons are, on average, worse. The new research shows that pollen seasons start 20 days earlier, are 10 days longer and feature 21% more pollen than they did in 1990.

Global Warming

Flowers Are Changing Colour To Save Pollen From Global Warming, Ozone Depletion

Just like the animal kingdom, plants adapt to the changing climate of the Earth. A new research shows the latest way in which they do so – by altering ultraviolet (UV) pigments in their petals. This means that the plants are essentially changing their colours in response to the climate change.

The researchers found that over the past 75 years, flowers have evolved to alter the ultraviolet (UV) pigments in their petals in response to the rising temperatures as well as the declining ozone layer of the Earth.

Flowers’ UV pigments are invisible to the human eye, but they attract pollinators and serve as a kind of sunscreen for plants. Just as UV radiation is harmful to humans, it also poses a threat to a flower’s pollen. Thus, plants tend to use UV-absorbing pigment in the petals to reduce the harmful radiation from reaching its sensitive cells.

Environment

Pollen Clouds

Vast sheets of pollen have blown across parts of the European landscape this spring, triggering allergy problems for those already suffering from the COVID-19 health crisis.

Images on social media and television have shown layers of yellow pollen reducing visibility in Spain, and Switzerland’s Lake Geneva ringed with yellow from the pollen that had fallen on the water and collected along the shoreline.

Strong winds blowing over vast tracts of olive orchards and other crops that stretch across southern Spain carried the pollen for long distances.

EWCOLOR

Amazonian Deforestation

Satellite observations by Brazil’s space agency, INPE, confirm that deforestation in the Amazon rainforest rose sharply as the coronavirus crisis deepened in the country during April.

The health emergency has prevented many officials in charge of preventing the practice from being in the field to thwart illegal logging and land clearing. INPE says that losses in Brazil’s portion of the Amazon soared by 64% during the month, with 465 square miles lost.

Despite supporting policies that have encouraged farmers, ranchers and loggers to clear Amazon land to help the economy, President Jair Bolsonaro has authorized the deployment of the armed forces to deter the practices.