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“Wine lovers take note: Global warming is already tinkering with your favorite

indulgence.”

That’s the headline of a press release touting a presentation made at the

Geological Society of America’s

annual conference in Seattle Monday.

The presentation highlighted the findings of an analysis of the world’s top

27 wine regions’ temperatures and wine quality over the past 50 years.

According to the study, rising temperatures have impacted vintage quality and

will continue to do so over the next 50 years.

Climate modeling, say researchers, predicts a 2-degree Celsius

temperature rise in the same 27 regions studied that is likely to bode well for

cool growing regions – England and Germany’s Rhine Valley – and hurt

already warm wine regions – Italy’s Chianti and Rioja regions and Australia.

“The cooler grape-producing areas such as the Rhine Valley and

Champagne appear to have derived most from past climate change and are

likely to do well in the future,” Dr. Greg Jones told conference attendees. “But

English wines, too, have improved.”

Jones, an associate professor of geography at Southern Oregon

University, co-authored the study titled “Climate Change and Global Wine

Quality.”


width=142 height=172
border=1>
Dr. Gregory V. Jones, associate professor of

geography at Southern Oregon University

“Understanding climate change and the potential impacts on natural and

human-based systems has become increasingly important as changing levels

of greenhouse gases and alterations in earth surface characteristics bring

about planetary energy, temperature, and hydrologic changes,” explain the

authors in an

href="http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2003AM/finalprogram/abstract_57687.htm">abstract of the study.

Jones calls wine grapes a “good indicator crop” of “global warming”

because they are grown in temperate climates and are “almost obsessively

tasted and rated for quality.”

According to Jones’ biography posted on the

href="http://www.sou.edu/Geography/JONES/jones.htm">university

website, he received $20,000 in research grants from the Oregon Wine

Advisory Board to study the issue between June 1999 and December 2003.

Proponents of “global warming,” such as the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, believe the past century of human economic activities – especially the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal – have vastly increased the amount of carbon dioxide, which traps heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. Proponents say this acceleration of the “greenhouse effect,” has caused an estimated increase in the Earth’s temperature of 0.6 degrees Celsius.

Using computer models, the IPCC predicts this global warming could amount to an increase in the earth’s average temperature by as much as 10.4 degrees over the next century. The panel has warned the long term consequences of this warming range from warmer winters and hotter summers to the melting of the polar icecaps and a rise in mean sea level that will inundate coastal cities and cause devastating droughts, floods, violent storms and spark outbreaks of cholera and malaria.

Based on its predictions, the IPCC campaigns for lower emission standards to combat the problem.

WorldNetDaily has reported, the IPCC’s global-warming theory has been widely disputed. In 1998, 17,000 scientists signed a petition circulated by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, saying, in part, “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”

Researchers using actual temperature readings rather than the U.N.’s computer models, found temperatures in the Antarctic have been getting slightly colder – not warmer – for the last 30 years. And the vast West Antarctic ice sheet is growing thicker, not melting.

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