Climate change is shifting wine grape harvests in France and Switzerland
March 28, 2016
A new study from NASA and Harvard University finds that climate change is diminishing an important link between droughts and the timing of wine grape harvests in France and Switzerland. During a study of wine grape harvest dates from 1600 to 2007, researchers discovered harvests began shifting dramatically earlier during the latter half of the 20th century. These shifts were caused by changes in the connection between climate and harvest timing. While earlier harvests from 1600 to 1980 occurred in years with warmer and drier conditions during spring and summer, from 1981 to 2007 warming attributed to climate change resulted in earlier harvests even in years without drought. The finding is important because higher-quality wines are typically associated with earlier harvest dates in cooler wine-growing regions, such as France and Switzerland.
By Michael Cabbage and Leslie McCarthy,
NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies