Global warming could bring more ragweed to Europe

Ragweed is going to be on the rise, according to new research reported in the journal Nature Communications. Europe was initially free of the invasive ragweed. However, about halfway through the 19th century, researchers point out, ragweed found its way to European countries. Researchers aren’t exactly sure how it happened, but it’s something that happened pretty suddenly in the middle of the century, and once it was present – as the climate changed and the globe warmed – the problem was only exacerbated. That is especially the case today, where climate change is being blamed for a surge of ragweed spread that has previously not been seen to this point. Scientists warn that it could be the worst expansion of ragweed that has been seen in the invasive weeds existence.

Daniel Chapman of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Edinburgh, pointed out that, “As warmer temperatures and higher carbon dioxide concentrations allow ragweed to become more vigorous and invade further north, we can expect to see many more allergy sufferers.” That’s the problem for those who suffer from allergies. Ragweed allergies are amongst the most common in the entire world, in terms of those who suffer from seasonal allergies, which impact those when certain plants, or trees come into bloom.


Sadly though, ragweed is a global problem that hasn’t been combated properly throughout the last several decades. It hasn’t been contained, and as result – the invasive ragweed is invading every place it possibly can. Right now though, scientists believe that cutting down on the carbon dioxide output of people globally will help cool the problem. For example, scientists believe that slowing global warming will mean that ragweed has less of an opportunity to actually advance around the world – giving those nations a chance to put the invasive species on its heels.

The team of researchers were able to determine this growth pattern of the invasive ragweed by utilizing computer programs to determine how the seeds and spores would spread throughout the world. As they looked at models that carried growth and spreading out 20-30 years, they found that the news was going to be bad for allergy sufferers. It wasn’t just the group of researchers who believed that this would be problematic for those who suffer from allergies. In fact, most scientists and medical professionals agree that the prognosis for allergy sufferers is not a good one in Europe, with ragweed moving the way it is today.