Editor’s note: We’ve mentioned the ways northeastern states are planning for the disappearance of and loss of income from sugar maples here on Grist several times over the past year. But this video really brings the issue home (if the way to your conscience is through your taste buds, that is).
Meet farmer and retired teacher Martha Carlson and hear her up-close-and-personal take on sugar maple trees and the unique (and delicious) food they provide. If we continue warming the planet at the same rate, most sugar maples will be gone by 2100. But it’s not just a future danger we’re talking about. In fact, Carlson breaks down the way sweetness in maple sap has already begun to decline (along with a 2.8-degree-F rise in temperature since 1970); today’s maple sap has gone from 3.5 percent sugar to just 2 percent sugar in the last 40 years.