A recent meeting to discuss how Climate Impacts Maple Syrup was held in New Hampshire at the Keene State Young Student Centre on March 9th. Outside the temperature was in the mid-70s, about 35 degrees above the average high.
Five panelists, representing a range of authorities on New Hampshire's maple syrup industry were in attendance. All agreed that climate change is having a profound negative effect. Disappearing from this region are consistently cold winters and the freeze-thaw pattern (cold nights, warm days) which are needed for sap to run in maple trees.Steven Roberge, extension field specialist of natural resources at the UNH Cooperative Extension presented recent findings. Using scientific data and personal observations from decades of experience, he showed how the warming climate affects the sap run and stresses the trees, sugar maples in particular, leaving them vulnerable to invasive species.Roberge also presented a series of charts and graphs based on observations at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains, part of a long-term ecological research study. It reveals the average winter snow packs at Hubbard Brook have decreased by 10 inches over the last 50 years, while spring arrives three weeks earlier.
This news, while not new, is alarming.