If global warming does indeed bring higher temperatures to the UK it could have more consequences than an increase in the number of BBQs we enjoy in the summer. For hay fever sufferers, there’s the possibility that a warmer climate could bring with it misery for an extra six weeks, as well as a whole host of other problems for the UK population.
And that's not the only thing. According to a new report by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), we could also be in for killer heat waves and new diseases brought to our island by mosquitoes.
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"There is no doubt that climate change poses a wide range of challenges to public health in the UK," said David Heymann, chairman of the HPA.
A fifth of the population currently experiences some level of hay fever and experts are concerned that an increase in this figure will have a significant impact on our quality of life.
Roy Kennedy, professor of aerobiology and microbial science at the University of Worcester, who worked on the HPA report, explained that the potency of main pollen sources such as grass and birch trees is increasing. Warmer temperatures may also make pollen grains burst open, flooding the air with allergens.
Combine that with new plants that thrive in the warmer climate and it’s expected many more of us will become runny eyed for longer each hay fever season.
Overall there was little positive news from the report, with everything from increased malaria to a rise in skin cancer cases being predicted. It also suggested deaths from the heat will increase sixfold by 2080, though the experts did suggest that fewer people would die each year from the cold.
To read the entire report, visit the Health Protection Agency.