Poison ivy to become more toxic

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 07 April 2010

Thanks to global warming, poison ivy is expected to become more “toxic.”

Poison Ivy

Poison ivy already ranks among the top ten “medically problematic” plants in the U.S., with hundreds of thousands of cases of contact dermatitis reported each year.

It turns out that elevated concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere – the primary culprit for global warming in the first place – have been shown to enable the plants to produce a more allergenic form of urushiol, the substance responsible for your itchy response.

To make matters worse, the same increase in CO2 is likely to make poison ivy vines grow even faster – more growth will likely mean more opportunities for people to come in contact with poison ivy. Better stock up on calamine lotion!

While poison ivy does have wildlife benefits, faster-growing vines could harm some forest habitats by out-competing slower growing trees, thereby reducing tree regeneration and increasing tree mortality.

Read the full horror story: “They Came from Climate Change” – The National Wildlife Federation (NWF).

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