Anna Answers: Why do leaves change colors?

Weather Wisdom

Question: Why do leaves change colors?

Answer: The short answer is it all has to do with chemistry and pigments!

Inside of leaves, there are chemicals that are called pigments. Chlorophyll is a type of pigment. Chlorophyll is what is used to make energy in photosynthesis. Leaves are green in the summer because they receive lots of energy from the sun, sunlight, and make a lot of chlorophyll.

As the seasons change and there is less sunlight the leaves no longer make chlorophyll. Once that pigment fades the other pigments become more visible with their red, orange, and yellow colors. Changes in the weather, like drought or colder temeratures, can also influence when the leaves change.

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