Friday, March 30, 2012

Maple syrup-pocalypse arrives 20 years early

from grist.org: Maple syrup farmers have “never seen a season like this,” and as a result, maple syrup production has cratered. If you like the stuff, it’s time to start stockpiling it. Scientists have been saying that maple syrup production could be devastated in 20 to 30 years, but this season’s warm temperatures are so extreme that we’re getting a taste of that state of the climate now. Or maybe climate change is two decades ahead of schedule and we are even more screwed than we thought.

Well, probably not the second one — the heat wave we’re experiencing now could easily be followed next year by a cold snap, bringing syrup production back to normal. But it’s useful as an analogy for what future climate change will be like, says climate scientist Matthew Huber. In addition to letting us practice wearing shorts in March, it’s a dry run for climate impacts like this one. Long story short: If you like waffles with the good stuff, no harm in tossing a couple bottles in the freezer, because someday your kids will see it in a movie or something and ask you what it was like and you’ll probably start blubbering like a big old wrinkly walrus.