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Maple Syrup Production Slows Due To Climate Change

Maple Syrup Production Slows Due To Climate Change

Strange weather patterns and altered temperatures could cause trouble for maple syrup producers in North America, according to a new study.

Researchers at Cornell University predict that warming temperatures will cause maple sap production to decline slightly by the turn of the century and will force the window for tapping trees backward on the calendar by about a month.

Years of experience has taught maple syrup producers that the best time of year to collect maple sap is in the early part of the year – between January and the early weeks of March. This is when the sap is moving more readily through the tree, allowing you to collect the highest volume of sap.

The average amount of sap you can extract from a tree is about 5 to 15 gallons. However, some trees have been known to produce up to 80 gallons of sap in a year. It takes 10 gallons of sap to create one quart of syrup after the full reduction process of syrup making has been completed.

“By 2100, we can expect to begin tapping maples closer to Christmas in the Northeast,” Brian Chabot, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell University, states on Futurity.

Chabot’s study, which appeared earlier this year in the journal Climate Change, used the knowledge that maple sap flow is related to pressure changes in the trees’ xylem to help determine the impact of climate change on sap production.

Using scaled down global climate computer models they were then able to identify daily minimum and maximum temperatures during optimal eight-week windows for tapping sugar maples

Results showed that under a high carbon dioxide emissions computer model scenario, syrup production will decline slightly in the Northeast, mostly after 2030.

This confirms the findings of an earlier USDA report which showed that maple syrup production in New York has fallen more than 100,000 gallons over the past year — down a whopping 29 percent from 2009 levels, as reported by Neil Shader.

If you love the earthy sweetness of natural maple syrup, you might think about stowing some away in the years to come.

[Source: Futurity]

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Image Credit: Flickr - The D34n

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129 comments

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5:38PM PST on Jan 30, 2011

And I hope that people will start believing that global warming is real.

7:34AM PST on Dec 18, 2010

Our favorite maple syrup comes from Minnesota and it's not cheap, now it's going to be costlier. I hope people will pay more attention when the temperature changes effect prices.

3:13PM PST on Dec 11, 2010

thanks, but i really don't think that people need any encouragement to hoard syrup or anything else....

11:47PM PST on Dec 9, 2010

THANKS

6:16PM PST on Dec 9, 2010

My trees have been tapped for years by my neighbors who have a maple syrup shack. Production is down in this area and we did not get any thins year. Thankfully I have some left from last year. I would really miss the maple syrup!

4:13PM PST on Dec 9, 2010

maple syrup on hot pancakes....what's not to love!

12:11PM PST on Dec 9, 2010

Thanks for the article.

9:03AM PST on Dec 9, 2010

It is already expensive, now I'm sure it will be even more.

9:44PM PST on Dec 8, 2010

Has Sarah Palin seen this article? You know, that according to her, Global Warming doesn't exist...

6:21AM PST on Dec 8, 2010

and it is so costly....most people by the fake syrup anyway.

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