Sustainability

Climate Change Is Causing a Maple Syrup Crisis

We could run out of maple syrup thanks to climate change — and the syrup we do have doesn’t taste as good anymore. Because the of the unpredictable weather, tree sap is getting messed up. According to National Geographic, maple tree sap only has half the amount of sugar it had 50 years ago. So, it takes way more sap to achieve the same level of sweetness.

Trees are also producing less sap because of climate change. To get the sap in trees flowing, it needs to be below freezing at night and warmer during the day (around 40-45 degrees) to build up pressure in the trees so the sap can flow. The weather patterns are reducing syrup production and temperatures are expected to keep rising. So sap collection could continue to be affected year after year.

A 2018 study on Michigan’s sugar maple trees found sugar maple trees might even be wiped out one day. They are mostly found in moist well-drained soils and some climate forecasts predict warmer temperatures and a higher chance of summer drought. This could seriously stress out the sugar maples.

Researchers predict sugar maple trees in Michigan will decrease — in a few hundred years, they could be completely gone.