Trees at Cayuga Lake climate change data collection

A nature center is collecting the data necessary to understand the impact of Climate Change in Upstate New York.

The Cayuga Nature Center is right outside Ithaca and is about an hour drive from Syracuse. Ingrid Zabel is a climate change education manager at the nature center and studies specially selected trees in the woods.

“I did notice that this year on our sugar maple which is the first tree we started observing, the leaves broke earlier,” Zabel said.

On a weekly basis, volunteers at the nature center hike in the woods of the Finger Lakes to observe the effects of climate change. And while there were not any volunteers today, that wasn’t going to stop Ms. Zabel.

“So these broke within the last week. And the leaves are starting to open up. Actually this looks like a flower bud too,” Zabel said.

While on our walk, we stopped by one tree they used to collect data on, but they stopped because it is about to die. Cause of death? – Climate Change.

The nature center sends it data to federal agencies, where scientists ultimately determine the exact biological impact of climate change.

The Cayuga Nature Center will be holding the weekly walks every Thursday to collect data until this November.

“If, say an apple tree blooms earlier in the spring and then there is a hard frost that can kill the blossoms, then that tree may not produce fruit, or the fruit production may be really diminished,” Zabel said.

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