Users become ‘citizen scientists’ with just a few clicks. In addition to the hay fever risk map, the data are also used for research into climate change and its effects.
More than 15 per cent of Germans already suffer from hay fever, and the figure is rising. One reason is climate change. “At higher temperatures, more pollen grains are often produced and released earlier. In addition, they usually contain more allergens and therefore have a more aggressive effect”, says Susanne Jochner-Oette, a professor of geography at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt in Bavaria. Her pollen research is part of the BAYSICS joint project of the Bavarian Network for Climate Research.
You can participate with your smartphone or computer. Then it is up to you to make observations wherever you live: Where and when do birch, hazel or grasses flower in my vicinity? When many people register allergenic plants where they live, a risk map is gradually generated. After some time, people with pollen allergies can then look up which areas they should avoid.
Even people without hay fever can support the research: The service is aimed not only at allergy sufferers, but also at anyone with an interest in nature.
The app can be downloaded from: www.baysics.de
Constantin Schulte Strathaus. Mit dem Handy gegen den Heuschnupfen: Wie Bürger per App zu Klimaforschern werden (Mobile phones against hay fever: How citizens can become climate researchers with an app). Press release from KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, 16 February 2021. (In German) Last retrieved on 4 March 2021