GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A new study finds that the drier, warmer autumn weather we see more of due to climate change may extend summer smog well into the fall in the Southeast United States.
Research published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences also suggests a culprit for the smog that many people might not expect: It’s the lush woodlands that give much of the South a lovely green canopy. That’s because of a natural defense mechanism trees use to protect their leaves from drought conditions.
Georgia Institute of Technology researchers believe the mechanism kicks in when hot temperatures appear without summer humidity.
According to outside scientists, the study’s preliminary evidence should raise concerns about an ominous, indirect consequence of the global warming humans have caused.