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Environment & Climate Change

What's causing the delay in fall colors?

Cregg told us that cold nights give trees the cue to start changing colors.
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http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
Cregg told us that cold nights give trees the cue to start changing colors.

 

Even if you’re not a fan of the colder weather and shorter days, it’s hard not to admire the bursts of red and yellow that spread through our trees as summer gives way to fall.

But it seems we’ve had to wait a little longer to see the colors change this year.

According to Bert Cregg, a professor in Michigan State University's Department of Forestry, we have September and October’s atypically warm weather to thank.

“The cues for fall color are really based largely on nighttime temperatures,” Cregg said.

All told, he said our fall color shift has been delayed by about a week around the state.

Cregg talks more about why the leaves change color in the fall and how climate change could impact seasonal color in the future in our conversation above.

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