"Climate Change Is Making Poison Ivy Grow Bigger And Badder"

"Climate change is making poison ivy grow faster, bigger and meaner."

"Poison ivy's shiny green leaves are gourmet cuisine for deer, bear and other animals. Birds like its white berries and spread the seeds by unmentionable means. But the leaves, berries and vine are the bane of humankind and primates. In the hours after the lacquer-like oil, urushiol, gets transferred at the slightest contact, mad scratching begins.

Enough urushiol to fit on the head of a pin can cause misery for 500 people. Even a billionth of a gram of urushiol on the skin is said to cause agony. But now the news worsens.

Chances are rising that whitetails and bruins will have plenty of the leafy greens to consume in coming decades, with people facing a growing challenge to avoid the green curse. Climate change is making poison ivy grow faster, bigger and meaner. Rising atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and higher temperatures are to poison ivy what garbage is for rats, dormant water is for mosquitoes and road kill is to buzzards."

David Templeton reports for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette July 22, 2013.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 07/23/2013