Friday, November 01, 2013

The BBC, Wine and Climate Change

Alarming headlines in the last couple of days have highlighted a projected a global wine shortage that is likely to raise prices as demands outstrips supply. Much of this is driven of course by changing patterns of demand, particularly relating to increased demand from China. The other side of the equation is also subject to changing patterns. Buried in the story on the BBC is this little snippet:

They say this could be partly explained by "plummeting production" in Europe due to "ongoing vine pull and poor weather".

Poor weather? But surely the BBC has been warning us for years that wine production was a risk because of rising temperatures, not because of cooling or wetter summers. For example on 20 October 2010 the BBC were warning that 'Best loved wines at risk from climate change'  - and here they meant increased warming.

Or perhaps we can go back a couple of years further and find that warming was the key concern on the story from 6 September 2008: 'Spanish wine makers fight climate change'

Go back to July 2007 and we have 'Winemakers keep weather eye on climate' . Again the story was that global warming was going to negatively impact wine production.

And so here we are in 2013 looking at what's really happening rather than on model projections and the story is very different. The climate is changing, but not how the models told it should. Rather than hotter, drier weather causing shrivelled vines, it's colder, wetter weather reducing the crop. For those of us who view a glass of wine (or two) as one of our five a day, this is worrying news, and as sceptics have been saying for a long time, it's global cooling that is the real danger to humanity, not the little bit of warming that we experienced nearly 20 years ago... But don't expect to read that on the BBC any time soon.

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