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.
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