How climate change can make the wine shortage worse

From Salon:

Growing demand amid unstable temperatures is creating a deficit, a new report warns

Wednesday, Oct 30, 2013

Morgan Stanley Research has successfully alighted on a way to throw the Internet into a panic: A report released Monday by the firm cautions that we may be on the precipice of a global wine shortage.

2.8 billion cases of wine per year may not be enough to keep the world happily buzzed on antioxidants, according to the analysis, which found that heavy drinking combined with a 5 percent fall in global production has left us 300 million cases shy of the amount needed to meet demand.

Last year’s drop in production can be partly attributed to unstable weather in Argentina and Western Europe. A combination of weather damage and disease, for example, contributed to a fall in France’s stocks of wine to their lowest level in over a decade.

And as climate change worsens, we could be seeing more of this sort of thing. A study from earlier this year warned that traditional wine country regions — including the Bordeaux and Rhone regions in France, Tuscany in Italy and Napa Valley in California and Chile – will experience sharp declines in production by 2050. Writing for LiveScience, wine expert and University of Maryland researcher Antonio Busalacchi explained his own findings that “extreme events, such as heat waves that shut down photosynthesis and hail storms that can ruin a chateau’s annual production in a matter of minutes, will become more commonplace.” Aside from lowered stocks, he said, wines will also lose their traditional character.

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