The Northeast of the United States, without distinction between the United States and Canada, may be the best place in the world to admire the colors of autumn, and of course its greenery attracts unparalleled local and international tourism movement. But climate change is weakening the lush yellow, orange and red of Maine or Vermont, Quebec and the Big Apple, whose parks receive shades of inevitable beauty between October and November.
Environmental scientists are now convinced that there is invaluable moral damage to humanity as a whole, as well as material damage to the billions that move each year. The explanation is very simple: the warmer temperatures associated with the increasing consistency of the rains prolong the “green” season, delaying the so-called foliage peak, while on the other hand the increasing number of heat waves and storms and violent trees remove many trees before the arrival of autumn – not to mention the actual weather, Its attendance varies from year to year.
“Climate change reduces the likelihood of catching the right combination of autumn colors,” Andy Findon, a forest ranger for the Nature Conservancy, told the French Press. In Massachusetts.
Green scene in East America. But global warming is making it worse
The synergy that comes with celebrating green colors – so wonderful, they are the “postcards” sold at souvenir shops in New England and attract the crowds of tourists in nearby Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine in October – is so delicate. . In short, summer requires the right combination of heat and rainfall, which should be followed on sunny days but on cold nights when the days are beginning to decline: this is a mixture where the leaves no longer produce chlorophyll. , Accommodates other pigments such as carotenoids or anthocyanins present on the surface, from which various surfactants arise, which transform ash and birch forests into golden expanses. The combination of hotter days and warmer nights – associated with closed skies and increased rainfall – prolongs the production time of the green pigment, which is detrimental to those deep reds, making green the final and most desirable process. . “We will definitely see different colors,” Fenton continues.
In the United States they call it “leaf peeping”, which means “leaf peeping”. Organizing trips aimed at observing and photographing the colors of autumn is nothing but a major hobby. With a particular focus on the East-Northeast, there are countless websites predicting where, when, and where the green peak will occur after the season, in different geographical areas of the states. The physiological “journey” is the first moment from north to south. But now – ecologists explain – climate change is making predictions more and more difficult. Also, to complicate matters even beyond the Atlantic, to reduce the duration of the fall, if not reset, moderate or moderately cold weather – and consequently the “window” at its maximum splendor – often waves early frosts.
Stephanie Spora, an environmental scientist at the University of Richmond, explores the impact of global warming on the autumn colors of Acadia National Park, a memorable place for Obamas. “What we need to notice is that the green comes in the second week of October, a week later than it was in the 1950s,” he says.
Barbara Brammer, a biologist at the Nature Conservancy in New Jersey, estimates it will be “two weeks late” compared to what usually happened a century ago.
In the northeastern United States, green tourism is a thriving business. In Vermont alone, it earns $ 250 million a year, according to official figures. In New Hampshire, Poly’s Pancake Parlor is a historic restaurant-gift shop that offers spectacular views of the colors that fall on the White Mountains, receiving at least 500 guests a day at peak times. The site, reinforced by a special perspective on the evolution of the seasons, records the moment when the leaves change color from the 1970s. “Autumn is the key moment for our business, so it’s the year our customers ask us what’s the best time to leaf at any given time – explains Kathy Cote, owner of AFP, who says she is” very concerned “about what she’s noticing.
Even coastal cities that thrive on other activities cannot be considered exempt from the effects of the event. The first international tourist to visit New York’s Central Park recently said, “The photos look different from what you usually see – two young Argentines explained – but it’s much nicer than it sounds.”
Pete Smith, forestry manager for the Arbor Day Foundation, explains that heat and humidity prolong the life of diseases and pests that affect plants and promote their spread. “And for the color effect of autumn, there is nothing worse than a dead tree.” Severe events such as Hurricane Ida, which knocked down not only branches and leaves but entire trees in September, did not indicate a catastrophic effect.
All that is not yet. Scholars underline the phenomenon of leaf burning as a result of extreme temperatures. They noticed it, especially in the summer, in the western parts of the state. Brutal temperatures can effectively cancel out the general color evolution of autumn and burn the foliage, which loses all pigments, chlorophyll but basic.
The conclusion of those who study this branch about the effects of climate change is the same. Carbon dioxide emissions should be reduced to greenery, which is not exactly on the COP26 agenda, but is an indicator of the health of the forest, whose protection is essential to the protection of the environment. Regarding the role of falling leaves in the ecosystem of the forest, it is even superfluous to inhabit.
“Changing or interrupting this cycle – Brummer concludes – triggers such serious and complex consequences that they are immeasurable”. Not to mention that greenery is a benefit to the heart and soul. “If you go out and see that immersed in that red, it’s pure pleasure.”
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