Climate change could be a boon to the UK wine industry, making Britain one of the world’s largest wine producers by the middle of this century, the New York Times reports.
British winemakers have benefited from warmer temperatures in recent years. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Britain’s climate is warming faster than the global average. Prospective wine industries in China, Russia and Scandinavian counties also stand to benefit from drier summers and less snow and frost.
“Global warming is definitely benefiting the UK wine industry,” Chris Foss, who oversees the wine department at Plumpton College, tells the New York Times. “The industry has potential to expand at least five times, if not 10.”
While warming temperatures may boost wine production in the UK and other traditionally cooler countries, climate change will threaten grape growing, leading to dramatic production declines in the world’s top wine regions, according to a study published earlier this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The most dramatic decline is predicted for Europe, where researchers estimate an 85 percent decrease in production in the Bordeaux and Rhone valley regions in France, Tuscany in Italy.
The study estimates anywhere between 19 percent and 73 percent of the land currently suitable for grape-growing in major wine regions will no longer be appropriate for viticulture by 2050.
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