Friday, January 13, 2012

Fast Fact Friday: A Sticky Climate Situation

What is everyone's favorite condiment for pancakes and waffles? Yes, that sticky tree sappy goodness - maple syrup. The sugar maple grows in a very restricted region, requiring cool moist weather in the northern reaches of the States. Sap will not begin to flow until a hard freeze is followed by temperatures in the 40's (F), usually when temperatures fluctuate widely between night and day.

But the sinister warming of the climate may have put sugar maples on the road to decline. With rising temperatures in the past 40 years, the sugar content of maple syrup has declined substantially. Moreover, according to a Cornell University study, maple tappers will have to start shift their season earlier to account for the warming. How long before maple syrup is gone altogether? Just a thing of the past?

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