Graphic Novel Explains the Effects of Climate Change & how it Creates a more Toxic Poison Ivy Plant.

In The Partners 5 horticulture meets high adventure

“In Partners 5 I share my 30-plus-years of knowledge and experience as a poison ivy horticulturist. It’s a web comic for readers of all ages, where horticulture meets high adventure.”

Seasoned horticulturist, Umar Mycka has been engaged in hand-to-vine combat with poison ivy for decades and his graphic novel, The Partners 5, account his fictionalized adventures against this common backyard menace. Combining his passion for education and horticulture, Volume 1 of his graphic novel, (found on sees five intrepid Partners battle the mutated “Hostile Heartroot” bent on global domination and his band of mantises.

The story is not only chock full of action and adventure to entertain readers, but it also has a much more serious message to share. Climate change is here, and with it, poison ivy has begun to dominate landscapes, backyards and playgrounds across North America. From humble beginnings in the woods and forgotten back lots of North America, Poison Ivy is now the poster child for climate change – an unforeseen and extremely negative force that is growing rapidly, thanks to the increased CO2 in the air. The plant’s toxins have even increased in strength, resulting in sleepless nights, heavy-duty skin rashes and in extreme cases, ER visits for anyone who has had the misfortune of coming into contact with it.

How does CO2 affect the biology of plant life?

Plants, unlike humans, do not breath oxygen, they synthesize CO2. As we continue to pump higher levels and concentrations of CO2 into our environment, we unwittingly change the development and therefore, the biology of Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans). It has resulted in vines with larger leaves, better resilience, and higher concentrations of toxic urushiol oil, the compound that causes reactions to the skin upon contact.

This prolific plant can grow practically anywhere making it deceptively difficult to spot and even harder to eradicate. Forget everything you thought you knew about identifying the plant either, as its appearance can differ by location. The stems can climb trees, grow as a free standing shrub, line walkways and pathways, the leaflets can be red, or…

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