Poison ivy to grow more noxious as Earth warmshttp://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/14697360.htmUnlikely Fan of Global Warming: Poison Ivy [Real Player]http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5440235Poison Ivy: treatment optionshttp://www.mayoclinic.com/health/poison-ivy/DS00774Outsmarting Poison Ivy and its Cousinshttp://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/796_ivy.htmlPoison Ivy [Quick Time]http://www.angelfire.com/mn/coasters/copi.mp3Some know it by its scientific name, toxicodendron radicans, while some just call it a plain nuisance. Regardless of which appellation one might use, recent research findings released this week indicate that this rather widespread plant might become more potent as a result of global warming. A team of researchers working in a forest laboratory owned by Duke University created a system to pump carbon-dioxide throughout the area, and the results were fairly dramatic and as Jacqueline Mohan (one of the primary researchers on the site) noted, “…a bit of a surprise.” The research is part of a broader project designed to explain how rising carbon dioxide levels may alter forest ecosystems. Mohan continued by noting, “Woody vines [including poison ivy] are probably going to take off with increased atmospheric levels of CO2”. The other disconcerting finding was that these increased carbon dioxide levels also appeared to make poison ivy produce a much stronger type of urushiol, which is the active compound that resides in the plant. The first link will take readers to a good piece written by Brian Handwerk this past Tuesday for the online National Geographic News service. The article gives a bit of background about the research involved and also includes links to other relevant writings. The second link offers more coverage of this discovery from the San Jose Mercury News. The third link will take users to an audio feature from National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, which contains some comments from Jacqueline Mohan. For those who find themselves besieged by the plant in question, the fourth link contains advice from an expert at the Mayo Clinic on treatment options. The fifth link is in the same vein, as it offers some remedies straight from the good folks at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. For a moment of respite from all of the dark talk of a potential poison ivy explosion, the sixth link leads directly to a rather choice chestnut from the golden age of rock and roll sung by the Coasters, titled “Poison Ivy”. Of course, the Lieber and Stoller lyrics might not be about the plant in question, but it’s quite a catchy number nonetheless.


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