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Study to Examine If Climate Change Makes Fall Foliage, Leaf

Now that it's officially Fall, the announcement of this new study seems prudent, timely, and worth a trip to New England. Scientists at the University of Vermont have a three-year, $45,000 grant from the Department of Agriculture to study the effects of climate change on the famous Fall foliage. It's not just a tree-hugging (or leaf-loving) move. Fall leaves, especially in the peak season of late-September to early-October, bring $364 million in tourism dollars to the state. Money, it seems, does grow on trees.

One researcher says, "It is getting warmer, and people want to know how that's going to affect this big process that's so important to us." Because decreasing day length causes chlorophyll to break down making the red shine through, scientists want to see the true effect of cold nights and warm days on the leaves — especially if the overall temperature of both rises.

As for the leaves now? "It's always great. . . it can peak in different places at the same time so you just drive around and you hit all these different pockets of the landscape, so it's always fabulous."


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milosmommy milosmommy 7 years
I got to see some amazing colors when I lived in the Chicago burbs. I miss them here in the bay area.
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
fall foliage is definitely something that you take for granted when you live in a place that you see the changes each year. i grew up in NJ where we get to see the leaves change and then i moved to Florida where we don't have that at all and it was something that i really missed. now that i'm back in NYC i get to see it a bit more often. if the climate changes affect this, that i think that we need to realize that aside from the melting ice caps and all the other natural disasters that are being attributed to global warming, that we need to make a difference and change our habits.
True-Song True-Song 7 years
It is definitely on my To-Do-Before-I-Die list to go leaf-peeping in Vermont. I have heard they give leaf reports on the news like you might get ski conditions in Colorado or surf reports in California.
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