Global heating appears to be making trees drop their leaves earlier, according to new research, confounding the idea that warmer temperatures delay the onset of autumn. The finding is important because trees draw huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the air and therefore play a key role in managing the climate. The rising temperatures also mean that spring is arriving earlier and, overall, the growing season for trees in the planet’s temperate zones is getting longer. However, the earlier autumns mean that significantly less carbon can be stored in trees than previously thought, providing less of a brake on global heating.
By Damian Carrington. The Guardian. November 26, 2020.