We may have to wait a bit longer to see fall leaves turn beautiful hues of orange this year. Record temperatures in the U.S. this year could mean colors changing later, exaggerating a trend some are already starting to observe. Climate change -- particularly, warming temperatures -- could delay the changing colors of autumn foliage.
In a video produced by Accuweather.com, Valerie Smock explains why leaves turn from green to shades of yellow, orange and red. The production of chlorophyll, the green pigment in leaves, slows down during the fall, when the days get shorter, revealing other color pigments that are normally hidden from view.
"If autumn days are cool, trees quicken the change. If autumn days are warm, trees delay the change. So overall, global warming could delay leaves from turning," Mark Fischetti, an editor at Scientific American, explains in the video.
While Fischetti warns that optimal 'leaf peeping' may be pushed back, business owners in the northeast are optimistic that autumn will bring a richer palette of colors this year.
"We've had nice dry, hot summer," Maine's foliage spokeswoman Gale Ross said recently. "We're setting ourselves up for an ideal foliage season."
Watch the video above to learn more about how climate change effects fall leaves and take a peek at last year's fall foliage in the gallery below.
The full moon rises behind a sea of fall foliage along Highway AL-67 near Priceville, Ala. Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011. (AP Photo/The Decatur Daily, Jeronimo Nisa)
Sunlight falls on remaining bright foliage as the snow capped ski trails of Stowe ski resort are seen on the side of Mt. Mansfield in Stowe , Vt. Mountain and lake views along with fall foliage can be had for free in Vermont's largest city of Burlington, which feels more like a big town than a city. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
A couple takes a stroll amid the Tiergarten's autumn foliage in Berlin November 4, 2011. (JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)
Women take a rest during their lunch break under trees with fall foliage in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Nov. 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
A jogger runs through Tiergarten park among trees rich in fall foliage on November 1, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
A house is surrounded by fall foliage colors covered with heavy wet snow in Williamstown, Mass., Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011. (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach)
Fall foliage is seen at Rock State Park begins near Danbury, N.C., Friday, Oct. 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Fall colors are seen Monday, Oct. 10, 2011 in East Montpelier, Vt. Vermont's annual foliage season is reaching its peak across the state. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
Fall colors frame a red barn on Monday, Oct. 10, 2011 in East Montpelier, Vt. Vermont's annual foliage season is reaching its peak across the state.(AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
Fallen maple leaves carpet a lawn across the street from the First Baptist Church of Kingfield, Maine, Friday, Sept. 30, 2011. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
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