Phycobilins?

At Trentham Gardens today.

Red leaves on plants at Trentham Gardens today. Usually leaves are green but these have a strong red colour. The light shines through them giving them a glow. I remember hearing about other plant colours that happen in autumn. The green chlorophyll is absorbed back into the plant (usually a tree) and other underlying pigments that help to phosynthesise carbon dioxide and water to join together into simple sugars that can then be transformed into cellulose and other plant structures.

As the chlorophyll is absorbed, red phycobilins, yellow xanthophylls and orange carotenes are left in the leaves giving Autumn colours. This usually happens as the temperature cools and the plants start to store food and chemicals for winter.

I don’t know if these plants are doing thus? They remind me of the colours that are found in Swiss Chard.

Plant trees, cut CO2

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Just watching a programme about tree planting from the Woodland Trust. I wanted to donate but the website seems to have crashed.

I think it’s a brilliant idea and the thought of planting Rowan trees or Wild Cherries really sounds good. We might not stop global warming but it’s got to help.

The previous programme, on another channel, was with leaders of our political parties stating how they would reduce global warming and pollution. The leader of the current government and another party did not take part and are now calling for the Channel the discussion was on to be censured! We are not a dictatorship but I do worry that things are not as democratic as they should be!

The last leaf

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The last leaf of the world fell in 2096,

No more trees, all dead, or burned by the wildfires. The last leaf came from a young sapling that had been planted into the soil two years before.

The forests had gone. Most of the grass had gone. Algae in the sea was dying. The only thing creating oxygen were the chlorophyll pumps. Miles high, miles wide, the stirrers ran 24 hours, day and night, month after month, year after year.

So now what…? Quantum jiggery pokery…. DNA, cloning. If the Earth could cool the planet could be reforested, but that would take decades….

Autumn

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Or Fall as it is also called.

About this time of year in the Northern hemisphere (and six months before or after in the Southern hemisphere) experience a change in season from Summer to Autumn. The nights start to last longer than the days, and the further north you go the shorter the days get.

The heat from the Sun cannot warm the North as much, so as the heat of the day dissipates into the atmosphere as the sun sets the temperature starts to drop.

In towns where buildings hold on to heat the temperature at night can be a few degrees warmer than in the countryside.

Now comes the season of “mists and mellow fruitfulness” and when there is a high pressure system over the land and the winds and breezes drop. Then on cold mornings a mist or fog can be caused by moist air close to the ground.  Sometimes the mist is accompanied by frosts and leaves falling from the trees can glisten with ice crystals as the sun breaks through the clouds.

Each day and night the chlorophyll is sucked from leaves back into the main body of the plants leaving yellow and red pigments behind such as xanthophyll.

These days, with global warming, the leaves stay on the trees for weeks longer. In my childhood they would all have fallen by 5th November when we have bonfire night here in Britain, now they can still be on the trees by the end of that month.

One problem this causes is that we get storms from the Atlantic which rush across the country. They can buffet the trees and the leaves act like sails.

We have had violent winds that tear limbs from trees and even blow them over. There gave been a series of storms which have done damage over the last few years. There is also a strong link between plant diseases and warming of the atmosphere. As the temperature rises sickness such as Sudden Oak death and Ash die back are moving up the country.

A report today by scientists stated that the world is set to overshoot  its 1.5°Celsius target of global warming and may exceed 2°C or even 3°C.

The changing seasons could have a devastating effect on the world. We may enjoy the beauty of fall but we should guard that world for our children and their children’s children.