30 Jun 2011:
Premium U.S. Wine Regions
Face Climate Risk Within 30 Years
Warming temperatures could significantly impact some of America’s premium wine growing regions within three decades
, including counties in California that produce some of the nation’s most expensive
Grapes on the vine
wines, according to a new Stanford University study. In Northern California, researchers predict, the amount of land suitable for high-quality wine grapes could decrease by 50 percent. California’s wine industry, which provides about 90 percent of the nation’s total wine production, was estimated to be worth $18.5 billion last year. A 2006 study predicted that as much as 81 percent of the U.S. land suitable for premium wine grapes could disappear by the end of the century. “Our new study looks at climate change during the next 30 years — a time frame over which people are actually considering the costs and benefits of making decisions on the ground,” said Noah Diffenbaugh, an assistant professor of environmental Earth science at Stanford and author of both studies. According to the study, some cooler parts of Oregon and Washington State could see an increase in the acreage suitable for premium wine grapes. The study assumed that greenhouse gas emissions will increase 23 percent by 2040 and that temperatures will rise by 1.8 degrees F.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s coral reefs, which are largely intact thanks to stifled coastal development in the communist nation. View the gallery.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.