The maple syrup industry in Maryland is threatened by climate change. According to the Maryland Climate Action Plan, prepared by the Maryland Commission on Climate Change that was appointed by the Governor, The maple-beech-birch forest of Western Maryland is likely to fade away, and pine trees will become more dominant in Maryland’s forests:
As the changing climate after the last Ice Age resulted in the northward shift in the distribution of tree species in eastern North America, 21st century warming will very likely result in the northward sift in the range of trees and forest types currently that exists in Maryland. Trees that need cold winter conditions (for example, sugar maples) or are susceptible to diseases or pests under warmer conditions will retreat northward, possibly replaced by species currently found south of Maryland. Plant hardiness zones for horticultural plants have recently been revised to take account of the changes in the potential ranges of garden plants that have already taken place...I was quoted in the Frederick News-Post about the changes in hardiness zones a few weeks ago because I also write a blog about global warming and Maryland called "local warming", and one of the commenters called me an idiot:
Under a doubling of CO2 concentrations—likely to be experienced in the latter half of the century under the low-emissions scenario—the maple-beech-birch forests of Allegany and Garrett counties are likely to disappear, replaced by oak-hickory forests. The oak-hickory forest type that presently characterizes most of the Piedmont and Coastal Plain west of the Chesapeake is likely to transition to an oak-pine forest.
Shannon Moore said "Climate change is already being felt. "Our climate is warmer," she said. "Where we used to get snow, we get rain. We've changed our hardiness zones. That affects everything." I guess this idiot didn't hear the weather forecast for our area this weekend. I'm also guessing she wasn't present for the past couple winter storms we've already had this FALL. Maybe she didn't even see the latest on the scam produced by Al Gore about Global Warming... Maybe if she paid more attention in her science classes and not to her political party of choice she would have a better understanding of how the Earth and Weather goes through cycles. This is nature people. It happens.
Suffice to say, I have paid a lot of attention to my science classes! I thought this was funny and didn't take it personally. But it does remind me that there are many people out there who do not believe that climate change is occuring, and this mindset does an extreme disservice to our ability to address it. The reality is that our climate is shifting, and that will affect the industries in our region that produce our food.