Climate change could make some climate zones disappear, worsen asthma

It’s been a while since we’ve done a probable-effects-of-climate-change story, and we’d hate to leave you hanging. So: according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, climate change could reinvent the world’s climate zones by 2100 (feels closer all the time, don’t it?). New climate zones could emerge — leading, for instance, to more forest fires in a hot, dry Amazon — and some current polar and mountain zones could disappear entirely. “The species that live in these climates really have nowhere to go as the system changes,” said lead author Jack Williams of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Too remote and crittery for you? Try this on for size: the longer growing season and increased pollen tied to warming could worsen asthma and allergies. “Warming is touted as good for agriculture, but weeds may be reacting disproportionately fast,” says Paul Epstein of Harvard Medical School. “This is an issue with great importance for human health and agricultural yields.”