Archive for Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Study: More CO2 makes more noxious poison ivy

May 30, 2006


— Another reason to worry about global warming: more and itchier poison ivy.

The noxious vine grows faster and bigger as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise, researchers report Monday.

And a CO2-driven vine also produces more of its rash-causing chemical, urushiol, conclude experiments conducted in a forest at Duke University where scientists increased carbon dioxide levels to those expected in 2050.

Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas - a chemical that traps heat similar to the way a greenhouse does - that's considered a major contributor to global warming. Greenhouse gases have been steadily increasing in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution.

Poison ivy is common in woods across the country, making it a bane of hikers, campers, fighters of forest fires and even backyard gardeners.


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