poison ivy

Essential Pittsburgh
4:15 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

A Season for Bigger, Badder Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy has gotten bigger, badder, and more dangerous as CO2 levels have spiked.
Credit Zen Sutherland / Flickr


Global warming has had some unexpected consequences, some good, some bad, but perhaps none are quite so itchy as the explosion in poison ivy growth.

Because of the abundance of CO2 in the air of late, weed plants such as poison are thriving, and biologist Joylette Portlock claims that poison ivy “could be growing twice as fast” by the middle of the 21st century.

Around the country, people are facing rapidly growing  poison ivy, often with pan-sized leaves. With that increased size comes an increase in urushiol, the toxin that puts the “poison” in poison ivy.

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