Syrup Shortage

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SWEET! About 40 gallons of maple tree sap needs to be boiled down to produce just 1 gallon of maple syrup.

What’s a stack of pancakes without maple syrup? Breakfast lovers may soon find out. Scientists say rising temperatures brought on by climate change are threatening the world’s maple syrup supply.

Maple syrup is made from the sap of the sugar maple, a tree that grows in Canada and the northern U.S. But sugar maples are growing more slowly as climate change causes forests to become hotter and drier.

“If the climate continues changing at its current rate, sugar maples will not be able to survive in some areas,” says Inés Ibáñez, an ecologist at the University of Michigan. For now, farmers are experimenting with techniques to boost syrup production, like vacuum technology that pulls every last drop of sap from a tree.