Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008

Global Warming: A Hot Earth Could Worsen Allergies and Kidney Stones

*It may not rank with rising sea levels and crippling drought, but hay fever is one more thing global warming is likely to make worse. A study in the September Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that increasingly early pollination of olive trees in Spain led to higher pollen counts overall. Similar outcomes can be expected in temperate areas elsewhere as the earth warms. That's bad news for everyone — particularly the 300 million asthmatics around the world. Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences also links rising temperatures to an increase in kidney stones — a condition related to dehydration. In 2000 some 40% of Americans already lived in warm parts of the country considered kidney-stone risk areas. That number is expected to reach 70% by 2095. There has also been an increase in the number of children with kidney stones over the past year. But don't blame global warming: the real cause may be too many salty snacks.