Wineries Around the World Grapple With Climate Change
Vintners in South Africa, France, Australia, California and more find themselves grappling with the effects of climate change, the Associated Press reported, as a tiny swing in temperatures can change the sugar, acid and tannin content for some grape varieties, making it difficult for wineries to replicate batches produced in the past.
Spanish brand Familia Torres, which owns wineries in California and Chile, has seen how a mere rise of 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit over 40 years has resulted in harvests that are now about 10 days earlier than 20 years ago, company president Miguel A. Torres told the Associated Press.
On the flip side, the effects of climate change have been good news for some Oregon vineyards, where increasingly milder temperatures have become more suitable to grow grapes for pinot noir.
Now, "we're in the sweet spot," Greg Jones, a climate change and wine expert based in McMinnville, Oregon, told the Associated Press. However, if climate trends continue, Oregon's wine could also fall victim to the same consequences faced by other wineries around the world.
Last year's Global Wine Index found that some of the world's finest grapes are unlikely to survive due to natural disasters, rising temperatures and other climate change factors. The Mendoza region—Argentina's Malbec wine country—was ranked as the most at-risk. It was followed by the Kakheti and Racha regions in Georgia, the southern Cahul region in Moldova, northwestern Slovenia in fourth place, and tied for fifth are the Yaraqui Valley in Ecuador and Nagano, Japan.
Anything But the Wine! Climate Change Takes Its Toll on Grapes https://t.co/10YCHp3rPV @WarmingGlobeHub @ukycc— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1493431230.0
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By Jeff Masters, Ph.D.
Earth had its second-warmest year on record in 2020, just 0.02 degrees Celsius (0.04°F) behind the record set in 2016, and 0.98 degrees Celsius (1.76°F) above the 20th-century average, NOAA reported January 14.
Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for 2020, the second-warmest year the globe has seen since record-keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA. Record-high annual temperatures over land and ocean surfaces were measured across parts of Europe, Asia, southern North America, South America, and across parts of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. No land or ocean areas were record cold for the year. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
Figure 2. Total ocean heat content (OHC) in the top 2000 meters from 1958-2020. Cheng et al., Upper Ocean Temperatures Hit Record High in 2020, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences
Figure 3. Departure of sea surface temperature from average in the benchmark Niño 3.4 region of the eastern tropical Pacific (5°N-5°S, 170°W-120°W). Sea surface temperature were approximately one degree Celsius below average over the past month, characteristic of moderate La Niña conditions. Tropical Tidbits
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