Pancakes and Global Warming

Now this is a stretch isn’t it! Pancakes and global warming. You don’t have to worry, pancakes will be around, even with the Earth heating up.

But, what about maple syrup? Is global warming effecting maple trees in Vermont? Well, there was an article in the New York Times entitled Warm Winters Upset Rhythms of Maple Sugar that sugaring season is starting earlier, and the amount of sugar that farmers can tap from trees is about 20% less than normal.

Source: Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks

In the article, meteorologists reported that New England winters since 1971 have gotten warmer by 2.8 degrees. Because of this, the sugaring season has shortened, and the production of sap from the maple trees has decreased.

Dr. Timothy D. Perkins, Director of the Proctor Maple Research Center, The University of Vermont Department of Plant Biology confirms that there is a problem with the growth and development of maple trees in Vermont. The warming trend in New England has been slowly pushing the maple sugar production into Canada. This is a similar result that I have read about while visiting England. England’s climate has warmed in recent years, like New England, and as a result it has become hospitable for the development of vineyards, which have been the mainstay in France.

One statistic that surprised me was that years ago, 80% of the maple syrup production was in the U.S. and 20% in Canada; it’s now the opposite.

We won’t run out of maple syrup for our pancakes; it may come from Quebec rather than Vermont.

About Jack Hassard

Jack Hassard is a writer, a former high school teacher, and Professor Emeritus of Science Education, Georgia State University.