Monday, August 16, 2004
Via Zemblan patriot J.D., news that the California wine industry could be an early casualty of global warning:
California will become hotter and drier by the end of the century, menacing the valuable wine and dairy industries, even if dramatic steps are taken to curb global warming, researchers said on Monday . . . .
"By the end of the century under the (best) scenario, heat waves and extreme heat in Los Angeles quadruple in frequency while heat-related mortality increases two to three times; alpine/subalpine forests are reduced by 50 percent to 75 percent and Sierra snowpack is reduced 30 percent to 70 percent," [Carnegie Institution researcher Christopher] Field and his colleagues wrote.
Under the worst scenario, heat waves in Los Angeles are six to eight times more frequent, with up to seven times as many heat-related deaths as now. The Sierra snowpack falls by 90 percent.
This could "fundamentally disrupt California's water rights system," the researchers wrote.
They estimated that the $3.8 billion a year dairy industry and the $3.2 billion dollar grape industry would be especially vulnerable.
California, which has taken stronger action than other states to reduce emissions, for example with strict requirements for vehicles, cannot save itself, Field said.