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Reference: Non-linear loss of suitable wine regions over Europe in response to increasing global warming
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Evaluating the potential climatic suitability for premium wine production is crucial for adaptation planning in Europe. While new wine regions may emerge out of the traditional boundaries, most of the present-day renowned winemaking regions may be threatened by climate change. Here, we analyse the future evolution of the geography of wine production over Europe, through the definition of a novel climatic suitability indicator, which is calculated over the projected grapevine phenological phases to account for their possible contractions under global warming. Our approach consists in coupling six different de-biased downscaled climate projections under two different scenarios of global warming with four phenological models for different grapevine varieties. The resulting suitability indicator is based on fuzzy logic and is calculated over three main components measuring (i) the timing of the fruit physiological maturity, (ii) the risk of water stress and (iii) the risk of pests and diseases. The results demonstrate that the level of global warming largely determines the distribution of future wine regions. For a global temperature increase limited to 2°C above the pre-industrial level, the suitable areas over the traditional regions are reduced by about 4%/°C rise, while for higher levels of global warming, the rate of this loss increases up to 17%/°C. This is compensated by a gradual emergence of new wine regions out of the traditional boundaries. Moreover, we show that reallocating better-suited grapevine varieties to warmer conditions may be a viable adaptation measure to cope with the projected suitability loss over the traditional regions. However, the effectiveness of this strategy appears to decrease as the level of global warming increases. Overall, these findings suggest the existence of a safe limit below 2°C of global warming for the European winemaking sector, while adaptation might become far more challenging beyond this threshold.

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Publication Details

Published: 2022
Publication: Global Change Biology
Issue: 2022 Online November 2022
Author: Sgubin G 2022

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