Scorched, Parched and Now Uninsurable: Climate Change Hits Wine Country

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bstnh1

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Do you have the foggiest inkling how much we have learned since the 1970s?

See the Keynes quote above. Do you also continue to think that the sun goes around the Earth, as leading scientists believed a few hundred years ago? Do you believe that diseases are caused by noxious vapors, as everyone believed in the late 19th century? Evolution? Plate tectonics? Quantum mechanics?

More time has elapsed between 1970 and now, than elapsed between the formulation of quantum mechanics and 1970.

And in 45 years or so will we be making excuses for the scientists who in 2020 told us the oceans would rise up and swallow us?

Wrong Again: 50 Years of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions - Competitive Enterprise Institute
 

jswordy

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Science w/o politics is rare, if it exists at all. All scientists depend on grants for their own survival. Most grants depend on who's in office and what policies and programs they favor. If it was proven tomorrow that there is no climate change taking place, just think how many scientists would be packing up their desks.
As someone who is involved heavily with science and research on a daily basis, I can tell you flat-out that you have no idea what you are talking about, nor you you have even a basic understanding of the scientific process. I'm done here.
 

bstnh1

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As someone who is involved heavily with science and research on a daily basis, I can tell you flat-out that you have no idea what you are talking about, nor you you have even a basic understanding of the scientific process. I'm done here.
I worked with water quality scientists who's jobs depended 100% on grants they received to study the Great Bay Estuary in New Hampshire. Do you really think they would conclude there's no problem with the water quality in the bay? Nope! They kept coming up with study after study and that's still going on. It will never end because no one is going to write themselves out of a job.
 

Obbnw

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"The climate has always been changing": Here is a little perspective on that:

Come on man! This is a winemaking forum, you have to add:
6000 bc people's of the southern Caucasus discover wine.

For a while I thought what's the big deal with CO2, then I saw a plot of historical CO2 ppm. Eye opening for me...

True science is not political. Funding can be political, but political funding doesn't equate to political science. Yes there are unethical scientists, just like there are unethical anything but from my experience unethical behavior is the exception.

Just a note on the water quality example above, if water quality did improve any self respecting and "capitalist" scientist would report the truth then secure more funding to discover why and how it got better....

Back to grapes, the do seem highly drought resistant. In my neck of the woods, Utah, if we stopped watering, my grapes would fair the best.
 

Old Corker

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Science w/o politics is rare, if it exists at all. All scientists depend on grants for their own survival. Most grants depend on who's in office and what policies and programs they favor. If it was proven tomorrow that there is no climate change taking place, just think how many scientists would be packing up their desks.
Science is actually factual. Politicizing how the facts are depicted is not factual. Science doesn't really care if you believe it or not. It just happens.
 

Old Corker

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"Hey! I have an idea! Let's take ALL of the carbon that has been slowly sequestered in the Earth's crust over the past 500,000,000 years, and then burn it ALL over a 500 year period! What could possibly go wrong?!?!"
Not to mention what humans have done to the forests of the world. 4 billion years in the making and 10,000 years to destroy 98% of it.
 

wood1954

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the Milankovitch cycles led to more sunshine falling on the Antarctic at the same time—a likely cause of the warming waters.
In fact, the Milankovitch cycles would predict gradual global cooling.
The melting in the north could have been triggered "because the ice sheets had reached such a size that they had become unstable and were ready to go.
I do believe in climate change, heck I’m old enough to see it happening, but the first two sentences were a paragraph apart in one article and the the third sentence was anothe SA article. the author seems to give up and just make up a reason for the ice sheets demise. It’s reporting like this that causes confusion and leads to denial of the problem because to fix the problem is going to require sacrifice and it’s easier to point at lousy reporting and say it’s unfounded science so why make the sacrifices if it’s all bs
 

Obbnw

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The key to that article is the last sentence. Also note that the title isn't "why claims about climate change are wrong."

Personally, I took the chance on vinifera grapes in SLC , Utah elevation 4605, because I think SLC is no longer zone 5-6. I think we are zone 6 to 7.

We'll see...

Also many of the "climate change policies" can be divorced from the climate change argument and add value as air quality policies. Many western cities have serious air quality problems.

In winter it is inversions in summer it is ozone.

Sooo, I agree, apocalypse is not imminent, but why not try to improve air quality and potentially slow climate change?
 

balatonwine

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Personally, I took the chance on vinifera grapes in SLC , Utah elevation 4605, because I think SLC is no longer zone 5-6. I think we are zone 6 to 7.
Interesting. I love such experiments. Do you have a blog or other place that documents this process (no, I will not call it a "journey".... such an over used term these days... 🤠 ).
 

Obbnw

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Interesting. I love such experiments. Do you have a blog or other place that documents this process (no, I will not call it a "journey".... such an over used term these days... 🤠 ).
My journey into winemaking has been long and arduous....
: )

I have trouble typing 2 sentences into this forum, so no blog.


Basically, I've lived here 25 years and the only year it got down to 0f was 1996. So don't think I'm taking much of a risk. (Really no risk since it is just for fun). I picked Tempranillo because I like cheap Spanish wine and picked Malbec because our climate is similar to the Uco valley in Argentina. SLC summers are hotter, +5, and winters are colder, -5.

Overall I love my vines and the fact I can use them to make wine is just an added bonus.
 

heatherd

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Let me preface this by saying that keeping up with research is my job. Not preaching to anyone here, just summing up some research...

There is an argument in academic research that the former 50-year practice of snuffing out all fires as soon as they started has led to as unnatural a landscape in forests as it would be if they were burned out completely. The resulting underbrush, mast, needle and leaf debris pileup makes for a much hotter fire and a slower-advancing flame front when it does eventually burn, and retards reforestation because seeds that would have survived a quicker, less hot fire die and also because the slower advance of the flame front kills more trees than a quick fire would.

As a result of that research, the US Forest Service has modified its approach to fire suppression. The Forest Service is now more about containment in situations where that is appropriate, and is also setting many more underbrush clearing fires than it used to.

It's also been postulated that the fires themselves may be a form of natural "reaction" in the ecosystem to a warming climate, since the smoke shades out sunlight.

Less well studied is a theory that human expansionist activity itself in the Western region is helping to drive even hotter weather there due to the increase in hard surfaces that retain heat, a "heat island" effect that has been well documented in cities but is not well understood in regions, and increased rapid runoff of what water is available - which deprives it of a longer-standing cooling effect.

All that said, it is abundantly clear that the longstanding presence of drought that is uncharacteristic in the weather pattern history of the West in the past 5,000 years is the main cause of the ease with which major fires erupt and expand. And rather than being a transient weather pattern like shorter-lived droughts, this longer duration drought is being driven by climate change. Since climate operates on a much longer "wavelength" than weather, the long-term pattern is not likely to subside even if it ebbs and flows in coming years.
I've been doing sustainability consulting for my firm for about ten years. We've found that the heat island effect + lack of permeability of hard surfaces + dark pavement and roofs + unsuitable and non-native plants + over-building + over-engineering + poor site planning + relying on non-natural cooling + not designing to net-zero or net-positive are a combination of factors that have created climate change and we have to do things differently at a large scale.
 
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