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Spotlight on France

Spread of ragweed clear consequence of global warming in France

Audio 09:52
Botanist Bruno Chauvel points out a ragweed plant in a gravel quarry north of Dijon, 12 November 2015
Botanist Bruno Chauvel points out a ragweed plant in a gravel quarry north of Dijon, 12 November 2015 Sarah Elzas/RFI

Global warming is no longer an invisible threat. France has seen more heat waves and farmers have been grappling with uncertain weather patterns. In southeastern France, botanists and public health officials have seen a very specific indicator of warming temperatures in ragweed. The plant causes severe allergies, and over the past few years it has been creeping northwards from the Rhone Valley. Some predict it will be all over the country in a few years.

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