Warming Temperatures Stunt Autumn Leaf Colors
Tourists and residents in New England used to receive a spectacular display of color on the second October of every year. However, in recent years, the show has been a bit duller and a bit later than usual. The culprit? What else - area temperatures consistantly warmer than average. The chilly fall nights needed to bring about the blanket of color aren't coming until much later now. What's more, the higher temperatures are making it easier for tree-hungry fungi to propogate.
According to the National Weather Service, temperatures in Burlington [Vermont] have run above the 30-year averages in every September and October for the past four years, save for October 2004, when they were 0.2 degrees below average.Of course, the state tourism industries are quick to downplay the trend, blaming faulty memories of brighter colors as the real culprit. However, residents, businesses, tourists, and the plant biologist and forestry professor cited by MSNBC all agree: autumn ain't what (or when) it used to be.