It’s starting to feel a lot like fall, but why?
Well, even here in Florida, subtle changes can be detected if you look closely. And nature is full of plants and animals that survive on their ability to look closely. Take trees, for example.
On the way to work this morning, you could see leaves falling and wafting in the breeze – even though the car thermostat still said 83. But trees don’t have any idea of time, seasons, or “fall”. So how, even at 83 degrees, do they know it’s time to drop their leaves?
Even though it still feels hot to us, it is actually a bit cooler than it seems and also more dry than it seems. Trees are smart and prepare themselves for the cold, dry months of winter. They do this by holding on to all the water they can by dropping their leaves (because they are no longer needed) and sealing the spots where the leaves grow.
During the rainy season (summer), trees use their leaves to gather water, sunlight, and air to make their food. But once it starts to get cold, they go into a hibernation of sorts, called dormancy in which they make no food and use less energy. And, because sustaining a mass of leaves would require extra energy, the tree simply drops them one by one.
Fun Fact: June 21 marks the summer solstice, or the longest day of the year (which means that it has the most amount of sunlight). But the days leading up to and directly after June 21, have only slightly less sunlight. So if you add up all the sunlight during that time, you get the largest collection of sunshine than you’d have at any other time of the year. And here’s the fun fact. Even with all that sunlight, it takes weeks for the oceans and atmosphere to warm up the earth which is why July and August are actually the hottest months of the year!
So by the time fall rolls around, the atmosphere has had weeks to cool down (with less amounts of sunshine to work with), and the earth’s temperature follows suit.
As the country goes back to school and we settle in to our routines, it may be time to look for a new – or better – or closer – or higher-paying – job. If so, consider Gigats.