Wine production to fall due to global warming: Study

Researchers have warmed production of wine could drastically fall due to the change in global weather conditions.

Zeenews Bureau

Washington: Researchers have warmed production of wine could drastically fall due to the change in global weather conditions.

According to the latest study, researchers have predicted a two-thirds fall in wine production by 2050 in world`s premier wine regions that include Bordeaux, in France, Tuscany, Italy, and Napa Valley in California.

However, the study also suggests an increase in production of wine in areas previously considered unsuitable. That could mean that wine grape production moves from Mediterranean regions to higher latitudes, including Northern Europe, the western US and hills of central China.

Wine grapes, known to be sensitive to subtle shifts in climate, are best produced in Mediterranean regions with dry and warm summers and cool and wet winters.

"The fact is that climate change will lead to a huge shakeup in the geographic distribution of wine production," said Lee Hannah, a senior scientist at Conservation International and an author of the study.

"It will be harder and harder to grow those varieties that are currently growing in places in Europe". It doesn`t necessarily mean that [they] can`t be grown there, but it will require irrigation and special inputs to make it work, and that will make it more and more expensive”, Hannah added.

Seventeen different climate models were used to ascertain the effects on nine major wine-producing areas. The researchers used two different climate futures for 2050 - one assumed a 4.7C warming, the other a 2.5C increase.

The most drastic decline was predicted in Europe, where the experts found a 85 percent decrease in production in Bordeaux, Rhone and Tuscany.

The study also found a 74% drop in wine growing areas of Australia, 70% in California, 55% in the Cape area of South Africa and 40% in Chile.

The climate change could open potential new territory for wine growers such as Yellowstone Park in the US, Tasmania and into hills of central China.

"Wine is going to be on the move in the future as will wildlife. This adaptation has the potential to threaten the survival of wildlife," said Rebecca Shaw, a scientist for the Environmental Defence Fund and an author of the paper.

The findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.