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Is Global Warming Ruining Fall's Colors?

11/16/2007 12:00:00 AM

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Each autumn for the past couple of years, I've been complaining about the color (or lack thereof) of local trees. 'It's just been a dry year,' people would say. I simply took their word for it.

It turns out that others are noticing a difference as well, in areas that have not experienced the same drought conditions. The suspected culprit? Global warming.

Considering the explanation given in my previous blog post about the chemical changes that occur within trees to produce the bright shades of orange, yellow and red, I didn't see how temperature fit into the equation.

This report about New England's frustration points out that shorter days and cooler temperatures encourage the decline of chlorophyll, which allows the green to give way to fall's famous hues. With only the shorter days, the leaves are turning from green to yellowish-brown, then just falling off.



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