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Asthma Symptoms kicking up? Check your exposure to air pollution

People who suffer from asthma may think there's not a lot they can do to control their asthma besides properly taking medications and avoiding allergic triggers.

According to a new article in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the scientific publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), asthma sufferers can learn lessons about managing their asthma by examining their lifestyle. The woman described in the Annals article improved her asthma once she and her doctor determined her bike route to work was taking her on a more polluted route than necessary. The woman had recently moved from a rural community to a dense urban environment. She enjoyed biking to work, and her new route took her along streets with lots of traffic.

Butterflies' evolutionary responses to warmer temperatures may compromise their ability to adapt to future climate change

Members of the brown argues butterfly species that moved north in response to recent climate change have evolved a narrower diet dependent on wild Geranium plants, UK researchers report. However, butterflies that did not move north have more diverse diets, including plants such as Rockrose that are abundant in southern parts of the UK.

So although rapid evolutionary changes have allowed the brown argues to move north and track the warming climate, they have led to a more restricted diet. This increased specialization may limit this butterfly's continued spread north, into areas where Rockrose is common.

What is the ozone layer and what does it do?

Recent Met Office forecasts for UV are indicating low to moderate levels, however there is a possibility that the levels may in fact be much higher than this today.

Scientists say high UV levels are due to changes in the ozone layer.

Migrating birds sprint in spring, but take things easy in autumn

Passerine birds, also known as perching birds, that migrate by night tend to fly faster in spring than they do in autumn to reach their destinations. This seasonal difference in flight speed is especially noticeable among birds that only make short migratory flights, says researcher Cecilia Nilsson of Lund University in Sweden, in Springer's journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

Air pollution responsible for more than 2 million deaths worldwide each year, experts estimate

More than two million deaths occur worldwide each year as a direct result of human-caused outdoor air pollution, a new study has found.

In addition, while it has been suggested that a changing climate can exacerbate the effects of air pollution and increase death rates, the study shows that this has a minimal effect and only accounts for a small proportion of current deaths related to air pollution.

The study, which has been published Publishing's journal Environmental Research Letters, estimates that around 470,000 people die each year because of human-caused increases in ozone.