NOV 30, 2016 05:23 AM PST
Climate Change and Wine
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Climate change and increasing temperatures are impacting crops, industry and human and animal habitats. There's almost no one who can give a scientific reason why any of this is a positive change. British Climatologist Gavin Schmidt however tried to put a small bit of positive spin on one aspect of climate change…vineyards. Traditionally, vineyards in the UK did not produce very good wine. The temperatures are much too cool. However, with recent upticks in average temperatures, certain parts of the UK now have a climate similar to wine country in France. France is experiencing problems in grape crops because their temperatures are now trending too warm for some varietals. This has meant that wine companies in France are keen to buy up land in an area called the South Downs in England.

In blind taste tests, wine from the South Downs has beaten some wines from the Champagne region of France and some think it's due to climate change. While France might now be getting too warm to produce the quality of wine they have in the past, it seems the UK might be hitting just the right temperature. A similar shift is happening the US, with temperatures in Napa Valley becoming too warm for certain grapes. Production of wine is increasing in states like Washington and Oregon because of cooler temperatures there. While the cooler areas will reap an economic benefit from vineyards, in general these temperature increases will put food crops like wheat, barely and corn at risk.

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