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The Science Behind the Fall Foliage

Look outside! Do you see the brilliant leaves fluttering against a crisp blue sky? Fall has manifested itself in South Korea, and this is evidenced by the vibrant autumn colors of falling red, orange, and yellow leaves. But how is this stunning foliage created?

The logic behind the production of such alluring images is quite simple. As the cold weather moves in during the fall, the begetation starts to lose chlorophyll-a molecule used to synthesize glucose (food source) under sufficient light conditions. To elaborate, under low temperatures and early sunstes during autumn, the amount of chlorophyll decreases. This allows other inherent pigments to shine through. For example, only at this time of the tear, hidden chemicals inside the plant, such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds, start to express their aesthetic colors.

Moreover, this is when we can see the warm-colored leaves falling from trees, which is the way gow trees protect themselves against the freezing weather. The trees begin by slowly closing their veins which stop the water and nutrients from flowing through the leaf, leaving it to fall off.

If you go out next time, don’tjust engoy the magnificent view. Tell your parents about the secince behind this tinterestin preocess. Thisway, you will get a better understanding of the beautiful scenery.

November 30, 2020. By Minji Kwon