Friday, 21 August 2015

Vines are dying in California

I have a feeling I'm not going to like being right.   A comprehensive study has shown that climate change accelerated by man is responsible for the drought in California and will continue to have significant effects. An article in the New York Times said:

"A report this week by researchers at the University of California, Davis, projected that the drought would cost the California economy some $2.7 billion this year. Much of that pain is being felt in the state’s huge farming industry, which has been forced to idle a half-million acres and has seen valuable crops like almond trees and grape vines die."

It's not even that the grapes have become raisins, it says the grape vines have died. I've just found a picture and stats on how much impact the drought has had. They are not yet talking about this much but if you dig a little you'll find that it bad and getting worse.

"Dead and dying grape vines in Bakersfield, California, USA. Following an unprecedented four year long drought, Bakersfield is now the driest city in the USA. Most of California is in exceptional drought, the highest level of drought classification. 428,000 acres of agricultural land have been taken out of production due to lack of water and thousands of agricultural workers have lost their jobs."

If "wine is sunlight held together by water" as Galileo professed, then California is in deep trouble. They have way too much sunlight and way too little water.

Some producers are benefiting from the drought. Oregon and Washington state are replacing apples with grapes which need only half the water.   Vintners in regions of California less affected by drought say their yields will be lower but the wine tastier as a result of reduced rainfall.

But for many in the regions most affected, including Napa and Sonoma, the situation has been dire and getting worse sparking water wars. In each of the last four years, people thought it was as bad as it could get, but it keeps getting worse. And yet, it's even worse for the nut farmers.