Climate Change and Maple Sugaring in Vermont


david-sillowayYesterday night (Friday, 3/3), CBS Evening News ran a segment on the recent unusual weather patterns in the country .   At about 0:42, our good Vermont friend David Silloway was interviewed about how maple sugaring season has come earlier and earlier over the years.  [For those who are unfamiliar with how maple sugar is made, here is a link to the Silloway Farm’s  maple sugar website.]  Why is that so important to the Vermont maple sugar industry?  Maple trees can only be tapped for sap (for making into maple syrup) during a few-weeks-long window of time in the transition from winter to spring when temperatures drop below freezing at night and then rise above freezing during the day. Unfortunately, climate change has long been identified as a threat to the Vermont maple sugar industry, both because of the added variability of time when tapping of trees is possible but also because it affects the quality of the syrup that is produced — one concrete example of how climate change will affect the U.S. economy.

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