Climate Change Impacts on Winegrowing Regions in Southern California: From the Perspective of a Regional Climate Model

Authors: Corrie Monteverde*, San Diego State University, Fernando De Sales, San Diego State University
Topics: Climatology and Meteorology, Agricultural Geography, Wine
Keywords: winegrape crop, climate change, global warming, regional climate model, suitability, Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP)
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download



The objective of this research was to evaluate the past and future climate structure and climatic potential of Southern California’s winegrowing regions. Results obtained from the coupled regional climate model WRF-SSiB (Weather Research and Forecasting- Simplified Simple Biosphere land surface model) driven by the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (RCP8.5) warming scenario presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), revealed that by mid-century Southern California’s winegrowing regions will become warmer and drier. Evaluation of climate structures was carried out using a subset of the Multicriteria Climatic Classification (MCC) system, that utilizes the Heliothermal Index (HI) and the Cool Night Index (CI), growing degree days (GDD), and growing season average temperature (GST). Comparison of indices and climate variables were calculated between a historic climate period 1983-2012 and a future period 2021-2050 for regions which contain 14 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). This research shows that by mid-century there will be an approximate increase of 1.3°C in mean temperature and monthly mean rainfall amounts could decrease up to 13%. In addition, regions transition into some of the warmest climate structures for viticultural purposes and increases in heat accumulation (GDD) and night temperatures at the end of grapevine maturation (CI) increase an approximate 10% across all regions. This research suggests that by mid-century warmer climate conditions could impact the ripening stage of grapevines and ultimately lead to changes in wine composition and quality. Ultimately, the projected increases in temperature highlight the need for adaptive capacity within this sector

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