Pumpkin spice, apple cider, and less daylight are a few things that come to mind when Fall arrives! One other thing that comes to mind is the beautiful colors of the Fall! So why do the leaves change color during this season?
Many may think it is due to the colder temperatures, but it’s actually because we see less sunlight during the Fall season. The change in coloring is thanks to chemical processes, which take place in the trees as the seasons change.
During the spring and summer months, a compound located within the leaves allows trees and other plants to produce food. This compound, known as chlorophyll, reacts with sunshine as well as carbon dioxide to create glucose, a type of sugar that serves as the plants’ energy source.
In the fall, the decreasing amount of daylight as well as changing solar angle signal to the trees and plants that winter is coming. Leaves contain a great amount of water content, and if these were to freeze during the winter, it would cause a large amount of stress to the plant. As a result, the trees and plants gradually halt the production of chlorophyll as well as divert water resources from the leaves to the trunk or branches. As the chlorophyll fades away, other compounds present in the leaves produce the vibrant colors that we see every autumn.
How much daylight will we lose in October?
During Fall, the Earth’s axis is tilted neither toward nor away from the sun, resulting in nearly an equal amount of daylight and darkness at all altitudes. This is referred to as the equinox, which occurs on the first day of fall. So what does the word equinox actually mean? The word is actually derived from two Latin words – aequus (equal) & nox (night).
As we go through the month of October, the daily loss of daylight is 2:09 (min:sec). Daylight saving this year will occur on Sunday, November 7th, at 2:00 am. This is when we turn the clocks back one hour, resulting in an extra hour of sleep for us!