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Simply Scientific: Behind the beauty of Fall

by Jad Abukasm October 8, 2019
Simply Scientific: Behind the beauty of Fall

Fall is finally at our doorstep! At last, we can enhance our Starbucks experience from a regular Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino to our beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte. Fashion just stepped into a whole new level with deep amber backgrounds on the Belvédère making for the perfect Instagram #nofilter posts.

Those jaw-dropping fire-like landscapes are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful times of the year – apart from the weather, of course. But what exactly causes the leaves to turn from their distinct bright green colour to those warm hues?

It all comes down to the amount of light vegetation gets from the sun. In summer, daylight can hit for almost 15 hours straight. During that time, leaves act like small factories that use the sunlight to produce all the necessary nutrients for trees to grow. This food-making process happens in cells containing chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is responsible for absorbing light from sunbeams to provide energy for later chemical reactions in the tree.

So, while you were working at your summer job, tweeting about that annoying colleague, trees and plants were casually thriving under the sun. Jealous, right? Well, hold your horses for a minute, because winter is coming.

As the year goes by, the days become shorter. Leaves stop their food-making process because of the shorter light exposure and the temperature change. Chlorophyll in the cells starts breaking down which makes the leaves lose their bright punchy green.

But you may have noticed that not all leaves have the same colour. This is due to the different concentrations of chlorophyll residues in the leaves as well as a mix of plenty of other chemical reactions happening simultaneously during Fall.

While for us, this season mostly translates to midterms and cuffing season, for trees it is just another step in their natural cycle of life. So, put on those Blundstones and your classy trench coat and enjoy the beauty of Fall.

 

Graphic by @sundaeghost

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