Looks like global warming will do more than raise the tide and change weather patterns. Here is an unexpected consequence. Apparently the increases in CO2 levels in the atmosphere makes poison ivy more potent while increasing it’s growth rate.

Poison Ivy Getting Meaner – Forbes.com: “TUESDAY, May 30 (HealthDay News) — An annoying consequence of global warming could be a dramatic increase in the amount of poison ivy and its ability to cause allergic reactions, researchers report.

About 80 percent of people develop an allergic reaction to poison ivy that includes an itchy rash and blisters, caused by skin contact with the oily sap — or resin — of the plant. As the virulence of the plant increases due to global warming from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, even more people will be susceptible, the researchers suggest.

‘Under atmospheric carbon dioxide (C02) concentrations that the whole planet will reach by the middle of this century, poison ivy grows not only faster and bigger, but also more poisonous,’ said study lead author Jacqueline E. Mohan, a post-doctoral scientist at the Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory, at Woods Hole, Mass.

Only humans and some apes are allergic to poison ivy, Mohan noted. But with carbon dioxide levels increasing, Mohan suspects the plant’s growth rate and virulence are already on the rise.” More…