At least that’s what we’re supposed to believe. Says Gothomist (”Go See Some Gorgeous Fall Leaves In A City Park (While You Can)!”
Our schizophrenic autumn (thanks, climate change!) is here, and the window to do some leaf peeping will be “brief.”
The thinking goes that global warming has caused a drought in the northeast, which has stressed out some trees, causing them to go dormant as self-protection earlier than usual, which means their leaves turn brown and drop sooner.
Unless they don’t.
I’m not sure that there’s a sure way to quantify autumn colors, and if there were, what it would show. The tress I’ve seen don’t look much different (see below), but that’s only “anecdotal evidence.” (We were in Pennsylvania, northern New York and Canada a few weeks ago and I failed to notice any muted fall colors sooner than expected.)
Then there’s the debate over where global warming actually has heightened or dulled autumn colors. Looking into it, I find the explanations amount to “on one hand” and “on the other hand.” Which hardly makes a positive statement worthy of the scientific method. More like speculation.
For example, ClimateCentral states:
“With climate change expected to alter both temperatures and precipitation, fall foliage will also be affected. Projections for the end of the century suggest the warmer temperatures would delay the onset of peak colors, but also make them disappear sooner, leading to a shorter season. Nationwide precipitation projections are a bit less certain, but signs point to an increase in the Northeast, further delaying fall colors there. The effects of this are both ecologically and economically important. Leaf-peeping is a multi-billion dollar a year ecotourism industry for many states.”
Then there’s this from ThinkProgress:
“But the months-long spectacle of vermilion and crimson hues might not be around for much longer if climate change continues apace. As Howard Neufeld, a professor of physiological plant ecology at Appalachian State University, wrote in a 2014 piece for The Conversation, an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide might actually intensify the color of fall leaves, making the colors brighter, but it will also likely lengthen summer and shorten fall, meaning that there is considerably less time for leaf peepers to enjoy the autumn leaves ”
Which goes to show, I guess, that any change in the weather or climate can be attributed to global warming. Ah, such is the logic of the global warming alarmists.
Dennis Byrne is a Chicago freelance writer.
Have PoliticalMavens.com delivered to your inbox in a daily digest by clicking here