Wining and Climate Change in California

Oh dear, another alarming press release from Stanford’s Noah Diffenbaugh. Apparently according to his super duper climate model, climate change is going to affect only premium wine grapes. So it appears Ripple, Franzia Box wine, and MD 20/20 are safe from climate change. Winos everywhere are rejoicing.

Diffenbaugh must not get his data from GISS, because they show the temperature as significantly higher in Napa, CA over 100 years ago and the last 7 years of data is downtrending sharply.

Source: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=425745160030&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

It seems the hottest annual temperature in Napa since 1900 was during the 1998 El Niño peak. Hmmm. Of course even that might be elevated a bit, since I found the USHCN station is sited next to an air conditioner vent and a large parking lot.

And in Walla Walla, Washington, another area studied, there appears to be no century scale trend in the data:

Source: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=425727880040&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

But what effect do observations have over the power of models and worrisome press releases sounding the alarm? Apparently none. Thank goodness we can safely exclude the last 110 years of data in favor of the model.

From Stanford UniversityGlobal warming could alter the US premium wine industry in 30 years, says Stanford study

Higher temperatures could significantly impact California and other premium winegrowing regions of the United States in the next 30 years, according to a new study led by Stanford University climate scientists.

Writing in the June 30 edition of Environmental Research Letters, the scientists report that by 2040, the amount of land suitable for cultivating premium wine grapes in high-value areas of northern California could shrink by 50 percent because of global warming. However, some cooler parts of Oregon and Washington State could see an increase in premium grape-growing acreage due to warming, according to the study.

These results come on the heels of the researchers’ 2006 climate study, which projected that as much as 81 percent of premium wine grape acreage in the U.S. could become unsuitable for some varietals by the end of the century.

“Our new study looks at climate change during the next 30 years – a timeframe over which people are actually considering the costs and benefits of making decisions on the ground,” said Noah Diffenbaugh, an assistant professor of environmental Earth system science and a center fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford, who co-authored both studies.

Climate change, from global to local

Most U.S. wine comes from the West Coast. California alone produces on average more than 5 million gallons per year, accounting for about 90 percent of the nation’s total wine production, according to the Wine Institute, a trade organization representing California winemakers. The institute estimated the retail value of the state’s wine industry in 2010 at $18.5 billion.

Higher temperatures could hurt California and other premium wine-growing regions of the United States by 2040, according to a new study led by Noah Diffenbaugh of Stanford University. Credit: Sascha Zubryd, Woods Institute for the Environment

The new study focused on premium wines – the 25 percent most expensive wines on the market – and how global warming could affect growing conditions in four premium wine-producing counties by 2040: Napa and Santa Barbara counties in California, Yamhill County in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and Walla Walla County in Washington’s Columbia Valley.

“We focused on these counties because their mild climates have made them major sources of high-quality grapes, and because they represent both cool and warm growing conditions,” Diffenbaugh said.

But that could change, and soon.

“There will likely be significant localized temperature changes over the next three decades,” Diffenbaugh said. “One of our motivations for the study was to identify the potential impact of those changes, and also to identify the opportunities for growers to take action and adapt.”

Climate change for lovers of fine wine

The study was based on the assumption that there will be a 23 percent increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases by 2040, which could raise the average global temperature by about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) – a conservative scenario, according to Diffenbaugh. “World governments have said that to reduce the negative impacts of climate change, global warming should be limited to an increase of 1 degree Celsius,” he added.

To predict how much land area will be suitable for premium wine grape cultivation in coming decades, Diffenbaugh and his colleagues used a very high-resolution computer model that incorporated local, regional and global conditions, including factors such as coastal wind speeds and ocean temperatures. The researchers compared their simulations to actual weather data collected between 1960 and 2010 to see if their model could accurately “predict” past temperatures.

Using the climate model and the historical weather data, the researchers predicted that by 2040, all four counties are likely to experience higher average temperatures during growing seasons, along with an increase in the number of very hot days when the thermometer reaches 95 F (35 C) or above.

In the experiment, the scientists divided premium grape varieties into separate categories based on their tolerance to different temperature ranges. For example, Napa Valley – widely known for its pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and other premium wines – has historically experienced growing seasons with an average temperature of less than 68 F (20 C) and fewer than 30 very hot days. Grapes that thrive in that climate have done well there.

According to the study, the average temperature in Napa Valley during the growing season could increase as much as 2 F (1.1 C), with the number of very hot days increasing by 10. As a result, the amount of land with historically hospitable growing conditions could shrink by half over the next three decades, the study found. In Santa Barbara County, the amount of suitable grape-growing acreage with similar climate conditions is projected to decline by more than 20 percent as temperatures rise.

“I was surprised that local temperature changes could have such a big impact on an important industry with only 1 degree Celsius of global warming.” Diffenbaugh said.

The study also predicted higher temperatures in Oregon and Washington by 2040, but with potentially different outcomes for winegrowers. Oregon’s Willamette Valley could see a slight increase in the amount of total suitable acreage and a large increase in area suitable for more valuable varieties, according to the study. But in Washington’s Columbia Valley, varietals that are sensitive to severely hot days could see a 30 percent reduction in suitable land area, the results showed.

Risky business

The researchers also looked at how much land could be available to growers who adapt to warmer conditions, such as by planting heat-tolerant vines or altering their cultivation practices. The study found that suitable acreage in Napa and Santa Barbara counties could actually be increased if growers are able to produce quality grapes that can tolerate up to 45 very hot days and average temperatures of 71 F (22 C) in the growing season. However, varieties currently grown in those conditions tend to produce considerably lower wine quality and value, the authors noted.

Winegrowers, with their knowledge of which cultivation techniques are most appropriate in a given climate, could benefit from the study’s forecasts of temperature conditions, Diffenbaugh said.

“Climate change over the next few decades is of particular relevance for the wine industry,” he said. “It’s a big investment to put plants in the ground. They’re slow to mature, and once they mature they’re productive for a long time.”

Some decisions growers make now could affect their vineyards in 30 years, he added, whether they consider the potential effects of local climate change or not. Moving a vineyard to a cooler location or planting different varietals could be costly for winegrowers, the study said. But in areas where less drastic temperature change is likely, growers may be able to maintain the quality of their grapes by using existing cultivation and winemaking techniques, Diffenbaugh said. Possible strategies include special trellis systems that shade vines, using irrigation to cool plants and adjusting fermentation processes in the winery.

“It’s risky for a grower to make decisions that consider climate change, because those decisions could be expensive and the climate may not change exactly as we expect,” Diffenbaugh said. “But there’s also risk in decisions that ignore global warming, because we’re finding that there are likely to be significant localized changes in the near term.”

“Humans are amazingly resilient, and individual growers will of course make decisions as they read the signs on the ground,” he added. “We’re trying to understand how the climate that works so well for growing great wine grapes right now might be affected by even modest global warming. We can’t know the future before it happens, but if we don’t ask the question, we may be surprised when reality unfolds.”

###

Other coauthors of the study are Michael White of Utah State University, Gregory Jones of Southern Oregon University and Moetasim Ashfaq of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a former postdoctoral researcher at Stanford.

The study was supported in part by a National Science Foundation CAREER award to Noah Diffenbaugh.

This article was written by Sascha Zubryd, a science-writing intern at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University.

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138 thoughts on “Wining and Climate Change in California

  1. Selective climate change? That’s a new one.

    During the RWP 2000 years ago the Romans were growing red grape varieties north of York in the UK. Wish we could now but alas it is too cold.

  2. What is sad that you were able to show how feeble their claims are really easy.They should have done their research more thoroughly before making such obviously erroneous claims.

    I live in a popular wine region of eastern Washington.There,I see no evidence of heat related stress showing up in the vineyards.It is always the concern about the winter cold hurting them.That gets into the news some years,about winter damage.Some concern for mildew crops up too.

    NEVER have I read of heat hurting them.

    In Desert Aire Washington.They have for the last few years been adding a lot of new acreage for grapes.The expansion has been startling to me.Because I wonder if they can sell that much for a profit? Saturating the market with grapes?

    It is hot there in the summer,and ideally situated along the Columbia River.That is why it is such a hotspot for agriculture.

  3. Does anyone have the production figures to compare with the average temperatures for the past 10, 20 or 30 years? Is there any correlation with the ACTUAL temperatures? Did the yield drop in those years with higher than average temps as this ‘study’ is claiming that this will be the result with even a 1.1C rise in the average.

  4. Not to worry, there are only about 5 businesses that control 95% of the grape harvest worldwide. They will buy their grapes from the best vineyards at the lowest cost whereever grapes are grown. A lot of grape production in the Southern Hemisphere has put pressure on the North growers as these buyers have shifted some attention to harvests overseas.

    Recently, last summer, the gentleman who bills himself as Dr. Vino at UNR made a trip to China, as growers in China are looking to get into the biz. UNR prides itself with developing grapes in tougher growing climates as a found in Northern Nevada.

    Grapes are very adaptable and grow in every state of the Union. There are some excellent grapes harvests coming from areas in Central California such as Lodi, and the Shanandough Valley region.

    The profs from Stanford need to get off the Farm and do a little field research.

  5. Diffenbaugh maybe should change his name to Fluffinbaugh because his “team” report is so much fluff. Another taxpayer loss of revenue.

  6. So, essentially, they need to do some more research but are in dire need of some more cash, and besides, on your way out, please buy the new and approved super gene grapes from our good friends in the corner.

    One of the most hilarious thing I’ve witnessed is climate communist hippies eating sugar coated chocolate sipping “fine” wine, complaining over world starvation and water problems and oil dependencies. To note: my country doesn’t produce cocoa nor much “fine” wine, so those products has to travel quiet a bit, but we produce too much sugar even during these e85 days. :p

  7. Eyeballing the first chart above (Napa St. Hosp.) I compute the mean temp since 1910 to be roughly 15C. Before 1910 it seems to be about 16C. What caused the big, 1C, drop in 1910? Change in location, instruments or procedures?

    Or did the Napa “climate” really change in 1910?

    Reminds me of the October 2005 drop in the geomagnetic AP Index.

    Is it a real climate shift or just “weather”, or just a measurement artificact?

  8. @me
    > Eyeballing the first chart above (Napa St. Hosp.) …
    … one more point. This chart looks like a “hockey stick”, except the artifact is on the left, not the right.

    :-|

  9. One of the best ways to predict future temperatures in the grape growing areas is to observe what varieties the wineries are planting, as they are the stake holders who bet their own money on the future. I don’t hear B.C. ice wine makers making plans to get out of the business.
    And also, I calculate only a 15% increase in CO2 by 2040.

  10. So let get this straight, the study says that the Napa area will , might or could experience a 1.8 degree increase in temperature in the next 30 years. I have been to the Napa area several times and have personally experienced temperature swings on the order of 30 to 40 degrees over the course of 1/365 years and you mean to tell me that the grape vines in Napa are just gonna die. These idiot pseudo scientists should really get a life and look into finding a different career path.

  11. The researchers also determined that prior to mankind’s introduction of added carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, temperatures in rarefied wine-growing regions fluctuated less than .001 degree Celsius year to year, and less than .005 degree Celsius decade to decade. Similarly, until human emissions of co2, rainfall, soil moisture, cloud cover, and wind were essentially unchanging. Until now, that is.

    Lead author Noah Diffenbaugh also confirmed that the concept of “vintages” was just a playful game played by vintners and the public, even though everyone knew that no year’s wine was better than another’s, until co2 started wielding an effect. He also noted that he liked wine quite a bit.

    He is reported to be receiving psychotherapy to deal with the trauma of the best wine-making regions getting exposed to changing atmospheric conditions in the decades to come.

  12. Idiot.

    It isn’t heat, it’s number of sun days that count for growing wine grapes. Unless he is thinking water shortages.

    Grapes, and the way they are planted, allow this delectable fruit to grow in many different temperatures, as long as sufficient sun days can get to the grape cluster. You can even grow grapes in Tibet, planted in special deep trenches to protect the roots from freezing in winter. It takes a minimum of 5 years to get grapes off of a Tibet vineyard.

    Then there are gnarly head grapes. This type of grape vine is not trellised. Instead the trunk is allowed to get thick and rigid, allowing the branches, leaves, and clusters to grow atop the trunk untrellised (thus the name). The grapes are smaller and yield is less, but the flavor is supreme.

    Idiot.

  13. So you’re saying a warm period Chateau Ripple 1905 is the same quality as a Chateau Franzia vintage 1943 from the cooler times?
    Hah! I laugh dryly with a hint of fruitiness at the piquant naivete and unsophistication of such a claim.

    Mike
    who has been taking Communion since 1961

  14. “One of our motivations for the study was to identify the potential impact of those changes, and also to identify the opportunities for growers to take action and adapt.”
    The other (much larger) motivation, of course, was $$$$$.
    “I was surprised that local temperature changes could have such a big impact on an important industry with only 1 degree Celsius of global warming.” Diffenbaugh said.
    Heh. I’ll bet he was “surprised”. More like delighted. Talk about confirmation bias.
    Winegrowers must laugh at “studies” like these.

  15. Interesting, but….

    In Australia, 1998 Grange is rated as possibly the best vintage ever, and this was due to it being a hot dry ripening season which created a more intense flavour with rich tannin. This is not unusual and in fact for Shiraz grapes, hotter weather is generally linked to the best years. Since all premium Shiaz tends to be dry grown (ie: no irrigation) to create a more intense wine but with smaller yeilds, it is possible that premium shiraz could be impacted by global warming as there could be an over supply due to the warmer temperatures….

  16. Cyprus has produced wines from the carbonate covered southern flanks of Troodos Mountain for thousands of years. As can be the case for lots of Mediterranean coastal areas, the late summertime temps are quite warm. So I just can’t see heat being considered a threat to growing grapes.

    Maybe the reason no one ‘does their homework’ before making a research proposal is that they might not like the information they find.

    Grrr.

  17. “Humans are amazingly resilient, and individual growers will of course make decisions as they read the signs on the ground,” he added. “We’re trying to understand how the climate that works so well for growing great wine grapes right now might be affected by even modest global warming. We can’t know the future before it happens, but if we don’t ask the question, we may be surprised when reality unfolds.”

    One sided, the globe has been warming and will continue to warm relentlessly without pause, there are no other possibilities or outcomes.
    Might as well have said this instead:
    Humans are amazingly resilient, and individual growers will of course make decisions as they read the warming on the ground,” he added. “We’re trying to understand how the warming that endangers growing great wine grapes right now might be affected by even more global warming. We can’t know the warming before it happens, but if we don’t ask the hottest ever question, we may be surprised when warming unfolds.

  18. Just remember folks, this study is based on the premise of “possibly” and “could” assuming that global warming/climate change/climate disruption is happening.

    This is roughly about the same as any climate change study out there…basically worthless because it just assumes that we are warming and that this warming is due to man with no proof on how much of the warming is due to man and how much is natural. Another worthless study…just remember the universities that put this fluff out, they sold out.

    Any university that is willing to take money to do fake/pseudo science like this obviously can not get funding with real science, and as such you can safely say that these universities just do not hack it with real science. I used to think Stanford was a good university, but after this study? Not sure, they after all are willing to put their name on it……

  19. I wonder if any vineyard owners pay any heed to such studies. Like sunsettommy and gary above, I have seen an explosion of wine growing in the inland Pacific NW (rain shadow country) over the past 30 years with vines replacing fruit orchards. The quality of NW wines has also greatly improved.

    While some of the improvement and growth is likely a result of better techniques, it seems likely it may also have something to do also with the warmer and drier weather we have seen during those 30 years.

  20. “California alone produces on average more than 5,000,000 gallons per year….

    The institute estimated the retail value of the state’s wine industry in 2010 at $18.500,000,000″

    In round figures?

    $3,700 per gallon, or

    $462.50 per pint?

    Nice work, if you can get it. Sorry, but I question every number coming out of their mouths now-a-days.

  21. Quote:

    “California produces over 5 million gallons of wine”

    Multiply by 100 and you might get close!

  22. Only an idiot wine grower would follow this experts advice. I bet you this esteemed gent would never have risked a single cent starting a winery in the 70s. The chutzpah of these ivy league scum. They might be scooped, but in no way are they educated.

    So much double talk inthe dribble he spouts. I’m the end he will never be held responsible. Tjeydhould strip himof hisdegrees andmake hi pay for any losses incurred from following his advice.

  23. Anthony: “Diffenbaugh must not get his data from GISS, because they show the temperature as significantly higher in Napa, CA over 100 years ago and the last 7 years of data is downtrending sharply.”

    Could the significant expansion of vineyards in the early part of the 20th Century have affected the microclimate of the Napa Valley, cooling it in comparison with what was normal for the late 19th Century?

  24. From what i read on this post, these authors did not acually get any temp records of the areas they studied or even talk to the growers themselves. They just sat in their offices and played with their computers and viola a (worse than we thought) study. If this is what constitutes a real scientific study

  25. How stupid can these people be? They should have done their research more thoroughly before making such obviously erroneous claims.
    ” California alone produces on average more than 5 million gallons per year, accounting for about 90 percent of the nation’s total wine production, according to the Wine Institute, a trade organization representing California winemakers.”
    Well if they had gone to the the Wine Insitutes home page. http://www.wineinstitute.org/resources/statistics/article83 they would have found that California produced a lot more that 5 million gallons more like the 631,575,325 gallons in 2009.

  26. Here’s some history lessons for the good Heir Doctor Professor Noah Diffenbaugh:
    A. The Romans believed that if you couldn’t grow grapes or olives, you were barbarians for living in the cold too long. And they were smart enough to use air to insulate the wine from the grubby hand of humans!
    B. The Spaniards came to conquer the American south & south west because they believed the same thing, except for one caveat: That was that you had to sweat & suffer to find gold… to wit, you could only find it in the “desert.”

    So Napa, Sonoma, Russian Valley, lets drink to 500 ppm of CO2 & stomp away, stomp away!

  27. Meanwhile, back in the real world.

    Napa Valley Register – March 31, 2011
    The recent growing season had just three days over 100 degrees compared to a typical growing season having between 10 and 14 days over 100. While we appreciate the writer noting that the Napa Valley Vintners commissioned the most extensive climate research in the industry and writing that the research team has not found rising temperatures outside of some winter to early summer increase of just one degree in overnight temperatures to date, the science proves that climate change that would change grape phenology has not happened. We are not being “deniers,” but simply put, those who enjoy wine cannot be tasting climate change in Napa Valley wines.

  28. Swedish Pete says:

    Thanks Pete.

    @$30.00 per gallon. Phew. It’s much better than we thought ;-) $3.75 per pint. That I can afford.

  29. Doug in Seattle, you remark, in reference to the expansion which has occurred in the production of wine in the Northwest over the last 30 years, that “While some of the improvement and growth is likely a result of better techniques, it seems likely it may also have something to do also with the warmer and drier weather we have seen during those 30 years.”

    A question for Doug: does the temperature record and the precipitation record for the last 30 years support your remark for the Northwest’s wine growing regions individually, and also for the Northwest as a whole?

    By the way, there is a large vineyard about a quarter mile from my house which employs the most up-to-date practices, but the unseasonably cool weather we have had here in Eastern Washington over the last three months has not done it any favors.

  30. Listen and get sick, if you can listen until the end.

    The Climate Show 15: Michael Ashley and the ineducable Carter

  31. Federico says:
    July 2, 2011 at 8:00 am
    “…Tjeydhould strip himof hisdegrees andmake hi pay for any losses incurred from following his advice.”

    Trying to drink it all up are we, before it shrivels up under the hot CO2 driven temperatures?

  32. Environmental Research Letters should attempt to get their papers peer reviewed. Am junior sub-editor could easily do a better job than their currrent “peers. Preferably they should inject a bit of commonsense into what they publish. 5 million gallons is 90% of the total US annual wine business? Come on, get real. Ah! I’ve understood it now. At the unit price suggested by the paper not many will want to take wine regularly. It must be a very high end market.

  33. There not even trying now, ten minutes with the xBox, don’t even bother looking at any real world data and then hand out, plam up for the $$$, oh yer and a published paper of course.

  34. There are many comments asking why he would have written this paper/press release/ad/etc,etc… My perspective: MONEY! It’s quite obvious he applied for a grant to “study” the Napa “climate” & used & used old material that’s not even close to covering the intended area.

    Isn’t it the way things are done nowadays in Climate Change science?

  35. From Stanford University
    Most U.S. wine comes from the West Coast. California alone produces on average more than 5 million gallons per year, accounting for about 90 percent of the nation’s total wine production, according to the Wine Institute, a trade organization representing California winemakers. The institute estimated the retail value of the state’s wine industry in 2010 at $18.5 billion.
    =====================================================================
    U.S. students fare poorly in global test, especially math
    Among 34 nations, American teenagers rank 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math.

    http://www.thonline.com/news/national_world/article_38146a88-7c40-571b-8dad-87c50d2371c0.html

  36. AGW enthusiast: “Oy!, that be merely “local,” not global, so nothing there matters.”

    Skeptic: “O.K. let’s take a time machine to S. America, kids….”

    The oldest thermometer record there is Lima:

    It shows a steady median temperature of about 23°C.

    The forecast this week for Lima on WolframAlpha.com shows a steady temperature of 22°C, which happens to be the average yearly T back to 1970 as well.

    That’s 260 years of S. American “warming.”

    Do they grow grapes there?

    -=NYC=- Ph.D.

  37. Why do people believe that greenhouse warming would make for higher high temperatures? It doesn’t. It raises the average by moderating LOW temperatures. It raises the nighttime low, not the daytime high. It makes it harder for the Earth to shed heat via radiation at night because, according to the hypothesis, IR would heat CO2 in the atmosphere and some of that would be re-radiated back to the ground. The impact would be greatest in extremely dry areas where the effect isn’t swamped out by atmospheric water vapor, such as at the poles in winter. This is easily masked, though, through things such as land use changes such as urbanization and irrigation that also increase nighttime lows.

    If there were any impact from CO2 warming, it would be seen as a moderation in temperatures at the South pole in the winter. As far as I know, we see no such moderation of winter low temperatures at the South pole. As far as I can tell from actual observations, it just isn’t happening.

  38. Oh Noes! The Pelosi congressional district will be reduced to Franzia Box Wine?!
    IWTTT! (It’s worse than we thought!)

  39. I was going to mention Sun days (I’m originally from Saratoga, California, where my uncles worked in the Paul Masson vineyards, back when Paul Masson had their winery on Saratoga Avenue) but Pamela Grey beat me to it. I was going to mention that they worked longer in hot years than in cold, but most of the posts here mention that. I could have mentioned that grapes, and viticulture are from the Mediterranean, specifically from the hotter regions of Greece, Italy, Spain, Israel, Tunisia, Malta, Algeria and Morocco, but that seems pointless to point out that the best Algerian grapes are grown on the borders of the Sahara. After all, the paper was researched by professionals.

  40. Presumably Diffenbaugh will next advise the Bordeaux region growers how to adapt to these temperature changes. Wait a minute, these growers have adopted to temperature changes over the centuries far greater than what this clown is telling us will take place over the next 30 years. And people in lands distant to Bordeaux have been happily buying this region’s wines for hundreds of years.

  41. NSF career award funded this. This program is such a scam and a huge ripoff. Teleobama gives out millions to his pet leftie academic pals with no oversight.

  42. It goes without saying that if one is going to undertake such a study, the outcome will likely have been predetermined.

  43. The gentleman doesn’t know much about wine regions and grape growing.

    We focused on these counties because their mild climates have made them major sources of high-quality grapes, and because they represent both cool and warm growing conditions,” Diffenbaugh said.

    Part A:
    The Walla Walla area is mostly a case of “all bark and no bite” when it comes to wine grapes. While the wines made in the AVA are mostly considered “premium” it is a stretch to claim the region as a “major source” of such wines. In the following link (recent, but no date) it claims there are 100 wineries and 1,500 acres of grapes. You do the arithmetic! Most wine grapes in Washington State are from west of Walla Walla in the Tri-Cities to Yakima area and on the hills north of the Columbia River going west. For example, see this spot on Google Earth: 45.880883, -119.769913
    With “Borders and Places” checked a small green symbol appears just beside the location indicator. This is a ridge, the top mostly rocks and unused but the slopes are all in grapes. It is called Canoe Ridge. There was a winery called Canoe Ridge – yup, in Walla Walla. The story is here:

    http://www.avalonwine.com/canoe-ridge-vineyard.htm

    Ownership changes have occurred but the point is that Walla Walla seems to be a good place from which to market wines, it is just not a good place to grow grapes.

    Part B:
    The Walla Walla area is topographically open to the north. Too frequent polar outbreaks bring bitterly cold air out of Canada and into the area. Wine grapes suffer. Deficient irrigation is used to harden off vines but there is often limited snow cover. See this:

    http://www.yakima-herald.com/stories/2011/06/16/november-cold-spell-taking-its-toll-on-wine-grapes

    To the northwest of Sunnyside (mentioned in the article) is the Rattlesnake Hills AVA. This area is protected from the cold by the high crest of the topography and the slopes themselves. See the look of the area by going here (between two of the named peaks): 46.489155, -120.217762
    Zoom out until I-82 and the town of Yakima shows. That gives a good view. North of the interstate highway is an area of apples, cherries, apricots, and many other fruits – including wine grapes. See here:

    http://www.rattlesnakehills.com/index.html

    I know of this area because I helped write the proposal to the government for the AVA designation.

    Conclusion: The author of the report considered in this posting fails to realize that Walla Walla would greatly benefit by a few degrees of warming.

    But in Washington’s Columbia Valley, varietals that are sensitive to severely hot days could see a 30 percent reduction in suitable land area, the results showed.

    Suitable land in Washington’s Columbia Valley is based on the availability of irrigation water – which, by the way, is used as mist for evaporative cooling on hot days. Grape growers, particularly in Walla Walla, will likely welcome global warming. They won’t have to buy so many grapes from other AVAs nor label their wine with the larger Columbia Valley AVA.

    Now I’ll go back and read the comments of others.

  44. “It’s risky for a grower to make decisions that consider climate change, because those decisions could be expensive and the climate may not change exactly as we expect,” Diffenbaugh said. “But there’s also risk in decisions that ignore global warming, because we’re finding that there are likely to be significant localized changes in the near term.”

    Say it isn’t so! Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t! That’s as perfect a business model as could be devised, Dr. Diffenbaugh. “Likely” to be localized changes in the near term? What in heaven’s name does that mean? Weather? Alcohol abuse? Sorry. I can’t swallow this claptrap. Ripple indeed. This is peer-reviewed garbage.

  45. Climate variation is nothing new to the Yamhill area of Oregon. There was a time you could not grow grapes of any quality there. It was all a lake – a lake large enough and deep enough that the largest erratic in the state could drift in from Canada and settle on one of the highest elevations in the region.

    http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/county/cpyamhillhome.html

    And it wasn’t all that long ago, either.

  46. Grapes, like most fruits, are a little tempermental. 2009 the grapes in the south-west part of South-East Queensland, places near Stanthorpe etc suffered a series of severe late October to early November frosts, causing loss of crops…. so unexpected cold causes crop loss. Then in October – January 2010-2011 excessive rain put paid to most of the crops in south-east Queensland as much of the fruit ‘split’. Historically though much of Queensland has a cool dry winter leading into a dry spring and a tropical wet Summer so increased temperatures shifting the growing season away from the tropical wet part of the year would be advantageous (I had heard a report on the radio a couple of years ago stating that as well) due in part to mildew issues etc.

    Panic and loss of grape production is nothing new in the scheme of global warming misinformation tactics from Australia’s CSIRO…. http://www.csiro.au/news/ps2ei.html ‘research’ from 2006. Interestingly one of the names appearing on the list is Dr Penny Whetton, very much a product of the Climate Change Warmist set within government circles. In an exhange I had with her (very nice person to talk to I might add so not typically what we would expect from warmists) via chat after a replay of Insight on SBS that had Dr Schnieder against Skeptics (originally shown in Sept 2010) back in May this year, if you look in the chat log at 9:10 for my comment and 9:17 for her response, you can see she puts more emphasis in 15 years of dry (which featured the 3rd largest drought Victoria had over the past century) than the 50 years of above average rainfall from 1950-2000.

    http://www.sbs.com.au/insight/episode/index/id/401/The-Sceptics#livechat

  47. Harrah!
    If they are right then Oregon and Washington (and Canada?) wines will increase in quality!!!

    Not to mention that England would resume its rightful place as wine capital displacing those newbie French vineyards! (any wonder France doesn’t want it to warm up from the Little Ice Age?).

  48. Bah!! My client, Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery, and I scoff at your fine, fruity pinot noir wines with their hints of blackberry, black cherry, and toasted caramel. We laugh as you drain your bank accounts to buy poofy wines with designer labels!!

    When the climate changes, we’ll still be there, better than ever. If we can’t sell our wine, we’ll use it for biofuel.

  49. Scott Brim says:
    July 2, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Doug in Seattle, you remark, in reference to the expansion which has occurred in the production of wine in the Northwest over the last 30 years, that “While some of the improvement and growth is likely a result of better techniques, it seems likely it may also have something to do also with the warmer and drier weather we have seen during those 30 years.”

    A question for Doug: does the temperature record and the precipitation record for the last 30 years support your remark for the Northwest’s wine growing regions individually, and also for the Northwest as a whole?

    The temperature records for most of eastern WA and southern BC stations show that there was a warming between 1980 and 2000. Since then the temps have mostly dropped. Sunnyside in the Yakima Valley show a precipitous drop since 2000.

    See for yourself here: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/findstation.py?datatype=gistemp&data_set=0&name=oroville%2C+wa&world_map.x=124&world_map.y=107

    Granted its GISS, but that the tool we have available.

    My comments above however do not endorse any particular cause for rising temps during the period when the wineries expanded. If asked I would say there’s not a lot of evidence currently that supports any specific cause.

    Based on conversations with an old friend from Osooyoos, BC who was expanding her family’s vineyards during the 1980’s, the primarily reason for that expansion was economic rather than climatic. Rising temperatures were a bonus rather than the reason for the choice of crop. Prior to grapes, her dad mostly grew apricots and cherries. Grapes got a better price and cost a lot less to irrigate.

  50. Why there is no decent red wine in Japan and East Asia? Because Oyashio doesn’t get far enough southwards. Look at the world map of oceanic currents, and it becomes obvious the best wines, especially red ones, come from areas where cold currents enter [sub]tropics. (Some smaller currents, like Falkland, are not shown on that map).

  51. People have been planting grapes for many centuries without the help of Noah Diffenbaugh or other ‘climate experts’.

    This study is just a plain waste of time and money and reflects badly on Stanford University. Have they nothing better to do? Maybe it involved lots of ‘research’ in premium Napa wineries and perhaps a trip or two to the CIA.

  52. A question for Doug: does the temperature record and the precipitation record for the last 30 years support your remark for the Northwest’s wine growing regions individually, and also for the Northwest as a whole?

    My experience as a land owner in north central Washington state is that the growth of the wine industry is tied closer to the regional collapse of the apple and soft fruits industry than anything dished up by the weather.

  53. Swedish Pete says:
    July 2, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Interesting link. It looks as if the quantities produced have been going up. I see that the figures also:

    “Excludes substandard wine produced as distilling material for the production of brandy.”

  54. Interesting topic.

    I was cautionning an association of wine growers on the Saanich Peninsula north of Victoria BC not to assume that temperatures will continue to increase.

    Their display at the Saanich Fair last year included a graph of a growing parameter, perhaps “degree days”. One artifact of interest was an anomalous year in the 1950s, that I have not researched. (That’s a problem with agriculture, of course – a bad year can hurt, both financially and kill perennial plants.)

    The Saanich Peninsula has traditionally had much agriculture but is marginal for grapes. Temps are moderated by the ocean water on three sides. Conditions are somewhat better in the Cowichan Valley, but nothing like the wine grape areas of the Okanagan and Yakima Valleys on the mainland (both inland of mountains, much drier climate).

    But people try, including to get the cachet of a name. On nearby Salt Spring Island two wineries have been established in what may be the only place suitable – a southerly facing slope in the middle of the island.

  55. Sounds like the result will be an increase in grape acreage for 2 buck chuck.

    That should work out well. If the warmists get their way that’s all we will be able to afford!

  56. You cant look at an annual GISS temp to understand the problem:

    “According to the study, the average temperature in Napa Valley during the growing season could increase as much as 2 F (1.1 C), with the number of very hot days increasing by 10. As a result, the amount of land with historically hospitable growing conditions could shrink by half over the next three decades, the study found. ”

    There is a very natural way of looking at this problem. If the average temperature during the growing season in NAPA changes, then grape product will be impacted. The real question is
    how confident can one be about the predictions, and what can and should we do about it.

  57. Thanks Doug. As you noted, the temperature records for the Eastern Washington drylands show a very similar pattern, rising from 1980 to 2000, falling since then.

    We too have seen wine grapes displacing other fruit crops as the value of the grapes increases.

    We have also seen labor intensive irrigated crops like asparagus being replaced by fiber farms where stands of fast-growing cottonwood trees are planted as a source of pulp fiber for paper and cardboard.

    More profit, less maintenance and expense.

    These fiber farms have also had a very substantial cooling effect on the microclimates immediately surrounding the fields where they are planted.

  58. I grew up in Kenwood, in the Sonoma Valley, in the 1970’s. I also worked in a winery as a teenager. It is my recollection that temperatures were hotter at that time, and that they typically stayed hot into November (I ran cross-country in HS, so I was well aware).

    What vintners feared most certainly wasn’t heat. It was early or late rain, and the resulting fungal issues. As anyone who lives in these regions will tell you, brix/must density/sugar content testing will inform you as to when to harvest. The longer you leave it on the vine, the higher will be the sugar content. Wait to long, however, and you risk rain or freezing.

  59. What’s interesting to note is that it is less any so called global warming that makes us in the northern north hemisphere grow all kinds of southern comfort produce like grape, but due to effective gene manipulation. Why is it that the average hippie have a problem with gene manipulated wheat that took less than ten years to manipulate but not gene manipulated wheat that took 30 years to make or wine from scandinavia from GMO grapes, or for that matter vodka from “GMO” sugar beats or “GMO” potatoes.

  60. Blooy IDIOT. He didn’t even bother to look at the climate for one of the largest grape growing regions in the world, Bordeaux France. I live here. Temperature today 29°C, Temperature last week 39°C, temperature next week 32°C. Average for june, July , August ~ 26°C. Grapes grown. Pinot Noir, Cabinet, Sauvignon et lots of others.

    The man is a complete, absolute, bloody idiot. Get a life numbscull. Mon dieu!!

  61. There is a very natural way of looking at this problem. If the average temperature during the growing season in NAPA changes, then grape product will be impacted. The real question is
    how confident can one be about the predictions, and what can and should we do about it.

    It only means the geographic range within which grapes can be grown will move up slope or down slope, north or south, depending on whether the warmists or coolists are most accurate. Grapes are grown where they are because conditions are right for it. In the future that will be true also. Where, then, is conditional on climate. Same as it was 2000 years ago. As a population, “we” don’t do anything. It is not our problem. What vintners do is move with the climate. Vinyards always have moved with the climate.

    It is the same for coffee trees – I have six of them growing here in Washington state where it is very unlikely for them to be, and they produce delicious beans. It is not commercially viable using my methods (a living room window for light, and a living room for climate control).

  62. Mosher

    Stick to drinking the stuff. Or come over here and have a look. Hottest year here 2003. Wine, best red for many years, best white in memory. Temperature that summer averaged 35°C.

    You people need to read the right literature. Grapes love it hot but they need water at specific stages in the growing season and absolutely NO FROST.

  63. In my experience it is not hot and dry that hurts the grapes, it is cool and wet. If you get mildew on the grapes, it can damage a crop. Hot and dry is better than cool and wet for grapes.

  64. 1976, one VERY hot year in Europe. Drought dries up the Thames and the Seine. 2003 was nearly as bad. Both years were very good years for wine. A lot of sunshine (makes sugars), little rain (made few berries) creating a scarce wine of tremendous quality. When I live in Germany in the late ’70s and early 80’s, the 1976 vintage was the one to buy for white wines.

    For some wines, 1976 was considered “the vintage of the century”.

  65. stephen richards says:
    July 2, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    “The man is a complete, absolute, bloody idiot. Get a life numbscull. Mon dieu!!”

    Thanks Stephen for summarizing my thoughts on this press release so succinctly.

    Everyone should understand that as long as the Climate Ca$h keeps flowing to academia seemingly without any control, we will continue to see this kind of drivel…

  66. A question for CAGW true believers: red whine or white whine? Which goes best with panic attacks?

  67. What do you make of this graph showing a station not far way, superimposed on Sunnyside?

    Sunnyside is pretty much in the bottom of a bowl. One would have to know where the neighbors are when comparing temperatures. It is also a drop-dead georgeous place to visit.

  68. stephen richards says:
    July 2, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Mosher

    Stick to drinking the stuff. Or come over here and have a look. Hottest year here 2003. Wine, best red for many years, best white in memory. Temperature that summer averaged 35°C.

    Sorry, perhaps you should read what I wrote again. I said nothing about getting hotter.
    What I pointed out was that looking at an ANNUAL graph tells you nothing about the salient
    factor; temperatures during the growing season. As some here noted, getting cooler can be an issue, getting too warm can be an issue. But posting the ANNUAL temps doesnt really address the point. Change the temps ( up or down) and you’ll get a different output. it all depends on details that are not captured by an annual chart. So, dont mistake my correction as an endorsement of the study. Just a nit. Annual isnt what you want to look at. unless its -20C.

  69. As Anthony suggests, if Diffenbaugh’s model predicts temperatures rise in Napa, California from emissions of CO2 then this model is falsified by the temperature record at Napa. However, while Stanford’s press release implies that “predictions” are made by Diffenbaugh’s model, Diffenbaugh’s journal article ( see http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/6/2/024024/fulltext ) makes it clear that Diffenbaugh’s model makes “projections” instead of “predictions.”

    While predictions make falsifiable claims, projections do not do so but the falsifiability of its claims is the mark of a model that is “scientific” in structure. Thus, while Anthony drew the proper conclusion from Stanford’s press release the conclusion that must be drawn from Diffenbaugh’s journal article is not that Diffenbaugh’s model is falsified by the temperature record at Napa but rather that the methodology of Diffenbaugh’s study was not a scientific one.

  70. “Of course even that might be elevated a bit, since I found the USHCN station is sited next to an air conditioner vent and a large parking lot.”

    Indeed. The rather large looking asphalt parking lot/roadway seems even closer.

  71. If red wine is too acidic/fruity and leaves not that warm glowing caramel aftertaste but a burning gut instead, cut it with a good sherry. It improves bad red wine tremendously. I’m not a fan of white so I don’t know how to improve a bad bottle of that stuff.

  72. “The researchers compared their simulations to actual weather data collected between 1960 and 2010 to see if their model could accurately “predict” past temperatures.”

    There is no journal paper yet, so Mosh, we don’t know the confidence, as the above illustrates. No data there. Regardless, in grapes while growing, warmer absolute and average tempsindicated here increase tannins, flavonoids, cyans, and actually most of the flavor components in fine wines. Obviously, after extraction, you need to keep it cool.
    My point—folks at Stanford must drink pink ripple, and too much while doing research.

  73. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:
    July 2, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Bah!! My client, Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery… …When the climate changes, we’ll still be there, better than ever. If we can’t sell our wine, we’ll use it for biofuel.

    I’ve been using it for biofuel for ages, it works beautifully! :-)

  74. Diffenbaugh’s research could also be called “whining” and Climate Change in California. He needs to get a real job in the wine industry to get a correct sense of what temperatures grapes grow best.

  75. Effects of Temperature on Anthocyanin Biosynthesis in Grape Berry Skins
    Tuesday, September 07 2010 13:58
    Effects of Temperature on Anthocyanin Biosynthesis in Grape Berry Skins
    By: T. Yamane, S. Jeong, N. Goto-Yamamoto, Y. Koshita and S. Kobayashi
    In: American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 57(1):54-59. 2006

    G. V. Jones, A. A. Duff, A. Hall, and J. W. Myers
    Spatial Analysis of Climate in Winegrape Growing Regions in the Western United States

    Some references from those not on the Ripple. Note: I like red wine. White wine can be adversely affected by high temps (higher then those cited as catastrophic).

  76. AW The SMH has published this. This is a huge change for them as they were staunchly pro AGW. They must be starting to realize how much they’ve been had or are scared of future implications of their past articles concerning this theme LOL

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/the-science-is-not-settled-20110702-1gvy6.html

    BTW Bob Carter seems to be getting a respect (in Australia) which was not accorded to him previously. This is a big shift in MSM Australia

  77. Pamela Grey has it right. Very cold winters kill the vines, frost, hail and rain damages the bloom and the fruit. Rain encourages mold growth and unless there is a brisk wind following the rain, fungicide application begins at once. Heat ripens the fruit and it is measured in sun hours. Lots of heat ripens the fruit sooner.

    You may have noticed that California table grapes (the cultivation matches that of good wine grapes) the first grapes of the season are thompsons, red flames and rubies. They ripen first in the Coachella Valley (early June) then 2-3 weeks later in the Central Valley and finally in Napa Valley. On very hot days the harvest starts at dawn and finishes in the early afternoon because the sugar and water goes back into the leaves and vines to protect the vine from high heat. Sugar and acid are checked carefully and frequently on days expected to exceed 100 degrees and there are many 100+ days in the southern areas.

    Table (and wine) grapes have always been vulnerable to mother nature and while there are ways to mitigate damage, high heat has never been an issue, except at harvest or for irrigation requirements. Vinters who have questions about the need to change varieties, a very lengthy and expensive process, might check first with UCSLO (San Luis Obispo) where the real aggies reside.

    How do I know this? That’s one of the perks of being an accountant. We get to learn about quite a variety of business operations :) I had many table grape grower clients, spent several years working exclusively and onsite for two financially troubled growers (1400 acres and a cold storage and 750 acres including specialties such as Italias and experimental varieties) and I spent most of my life living south of Fresno. I’ve known the area’s summers since I was a child in the 1950s and I can tell you it gets HOT every year and always has.

  78. Ian George says:
    July 2, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Doug in Seattle

    What do you make of this graph showing a station not far way, superimposed on Sunnyside?

    It looks like GISS is comparing similar stations.

    What do you think it shows?

  79. I increasingly find myself of two minds in regard to this continuing and seemingly accelerating barrage of PR BS(Bad Science). [ I haven't gone back to do a count, but my impression is that there have been at least a hundred of these works that have merited a post here at WUWT just since the first of the year .]

    On the one hand there is my sense of irritation that I’m being sucked into wasting another piece of my rapidly declining, and therefore increasingly precious, allotment of time in this life to consider this BS. Compounding this irritation is the fact that most of it is publicly funded and therefore it’s costing me money to have my time wasted. There is also the accompanying glut of output from other alarmist propagandists that suggest that because I’m unwilling to be an epistemological mattress back for this nonsense, and to declare myself utterly convinced by it, that I am somehow the moral equivalent of a combination of Adolf Hitler, Atila the Hun, and Jack the Ripper.

    On the other hand there is a rising stench of fear and desperation effusing off all this, which indicates that they know that their moment has passed and that the only prospect of regaining their lost power is to adapt an Orwellian strategy of endlessly repeating the Big Lie, in the vain hope that their united front will be able to conceal the growing gap between their failed vision and reality. Unfortunately, as they attempt to expand their panicky narrative to cover virtually every aspect of life on the planet, they find themselves sermonizing about areas where large numbers of the ignorant unwashed actually possess more highly developed specific knowledge than they do and their self presumed superior status is repeatedly revealed as the fantasy it has always been.

    So I am torn between wishing that they would just give it a rest for all our sakes and hoping for ever more of this 8th grade science fair level BS, until even the hardcore members of the “consensus” community are forced to admit that the only real catastrophe that we face from AGW is the exploding cost of energy and transportation which along with growing armies of intrusive bureaucrats with shelves full of regulations, restrictions and rules will wreak more havoc on the world than even the most panicked alarmist’s worst nightmare of impending climatic doom could envision.

  80. Some people only worry about the increased CO2 in the atmosphere, while others worry about the CO2 in the wine itself:

    “…Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco Products and Firearms

    CHAPTER I: ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO TAX AND TRADE BUREAU, DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

    SUBCHAPTER A: LIQUORS

    PART 24: WINE

    Subpart L: Storage, Treatment and Finishing of Wine

    24.245 – Use of carbon dioxide in still wine.

    The addition of carbon dioxide to (and retention in) still wine is permitted if at the time of removal for consumption or sale the still wine does not contain more than 0.392 grams of carbon dioxide per 100 milliliters of wine. However, a tolerance of not more than 0.009 grams per 100 milliliters to the maximum limitation of carbon dioxide in still wine will be allowed where the amount of carbon dioxide in excess of 0.392 grams per 100 milliliters is due to mechanical variations which can not be completely controlled under good commercial practice. A tolerance will not be allowed where it is found that the proprietor continuously or intentionally exceeds 0.392 grams of carbon dioxide per 100 milliliters of wine or where the variation results from the use of methods or equipment determined by the appropriate TTB officer not in accordance with good commercial practice. The proprietor shall determine the amount of carbon dioxide added to wine using authorized test procedures. Penalties are provided in 26 U.S.C. 5662 for any person who, whether by manner of packaging or advertising or by any other form of representation, misrepresents any still wine to be effervescent wine or a substitute for effervescent wine. (Sec. 201, Pub. L. 85-859, 72 Stat. 1331, as amended, 1381, as amended, 1407, as amended (26 U.S.C. 5041, 5367, 5662))…”

  81. RobertvdL The video: that tells you everything about the level of education of these people compare with Lindzen, Gray, Singer what a joke.WE now know who runs skeptical science even more funny!

  82. Nice comment, Dave Wendt.
    I am wondering which the AGW scientists will run out of first, money or new topics? Surely they must be reaching the point where they have exhausted one or both. Worst of all, they have put their names on research papers that, in the future, may become case studies on how not to do science.

  83. Deadwood 05

    That’s right. A station some 49 kms away gives the same temp anomalies almost lock-step with Sunnyside confirming what Doug is saying – a drop in temps.

    But as he says, GISS is very unreliable depending what you look at for each station.

    This is Be Bilt in Holland. This shows the ‘raw temp data’ since 1880.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=633062600003&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

    No warming since then.
    Now try De Bilt again using ‘homogenised’ data.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=633062600003&data_set=2&num_neighbors=1

    Big difference – no it’s warming.

    You can then use the homogenised data link to get a superimposure by changing ‘1’ the at the end of the address to a ‘2’.
    (The key to raw and homogenised is the number after ‘set=’. Replace with ‘1’ for ‘raw’ and ‘2’ for ‘homogenised’. I don’t know if this works for all stations.

    I have also noticed that GISS has changed its ‘homogenised’ data back to its ‘raw data’ in some cases – it may only be where the station no longer operates.

    So the big question is – does GISS use the ‘raw’ or ‘homogenised’ data to construct its global temperature record?

  84. You can pretty much sum up what’s wrong with government subsidized science by noting that Noah Diffenbauugh got a grant for the “study”.

  85. A drop in average temperatures in North America is widely known. If you go to NOAA’s NCDC site here:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/na.html

    And check the “most recent 12-month period” (might need to scroll the pick list down) and plot starting in 1998, the trend is cooling at a rate of -0.84F / decade. That is some pretty sharp cooling. The data is current to May 2011, they won’t have June’s data until sometime around the 12th of July or so (sometimes earlier, sometimes later).

  86. And if you plot “annual” temperature (Jan to Dec) from 1998 to 2010 the trend is even steeper. -0.98F/decade. That is nearly a full degree per decade. That would have us in LIA conditions in about 20 years if it continues.

  87. Good Lord, now ” Global Warming affects grapes”?

    Theyre just reaching for straws, arent they!

  88. Ian George says:
    July 2, 2011 at 7:40 pm
    . . .
    So the big question is – does GISS use the ‘raw’ or ‘homogenised’ data to construct its global temperature record?

    The answer is – GISS uses whatever temperature gives the biggest rise in the time frame they are analyzing.

    BTW, I have lived in both BC and WA, and on the east side (cold dry winters with hot dry summers) and west side (cold wet winters and cool less wet summers). The big differences I have noticed over the past 30 years are primarily due to when the seasons change. The last few years we have seen spring arrive in June rather than April. I suspect most of the annual drop can be found there, but haven’t dug that deep.

  89. Like the alarmists, I think we sometimes let our biases or preconceived notions get in the way of sound thinking.

    So the temp sensor at the state hospital is 9.7 feet from a window A/C unit. That’s a small unit. It’s almost 10 ft. away and A/C units don’t blow hard or with any concentration of the air flow. I doubt it has any measureable effect and that if it does it would be very small. Also, the average maximum temp for the location reported on Worldclimate.com is only above 75 degrees F for 5 months out of the year, never above 82, and in those 5 months the average minimum is always below 55. With nighttime cooling and mild max temps, I expect A/C use is minimal and it’s effect on the temp sensor is probably nil.

    The pavement, well that’s another matter.

  90. I’ve got climate models and a nintendo to run them on – so I don’t need no stinking data!!!

  91. Having been raised in one of America’s largest agriculture concerns, I concur with wineboy, the accountant, and others. A wet winter, mild spring, a summer with lots of sunshine/heat followed by an Indian Summer — then harvest the bounty.!

    If the Stanford scientist presented these “findings” to an agricultural group, they would ask him, “Is this a joke?”

  92. The last few years we have seen spring arrive in June rather than April. I suspect most of the annual drop can be found there, but haven’t dug that deep.

    According to NCDC temperature trend by season since 1998:

    Winter (Dec-Feb): Trend -3.27 degF / Decade (NOTE: This includes 2011 data. Last two years have been below the 1901-2000 mean)

    Spring (Mar-May): Trend -0.31 degF / Decade (NOTE: Includes 2011 data. Last three years have been above the 1901-2000 mean)

    Summer (Jun-Aug): Trend 0.00 (NONE) Does not include 2011 data. Last year was above the 1901-2000 mean.

    Autumn (Sep-Nov): Trend -0.52 degF / Decade (Does not include any 2011 data) Previous 4 years above 1901-2000 mean.

    So the majority of the cooling has been in the Winter temperatures from December through February where temperatures have been cooling at a dramatic rate over North America.

  93. RS;
    What? You’re discounting all the blazing back-radiation from the hot CO2 contained in the A/C exhaust? Whar’s yore basic fiziks larnin’, boy? Get with the pogrom! I mean, program!

  94. Billy Liar says:
    July 2, 2011 at 4:05 pm
    CRS, Dr.P.H. says:
    July 2, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Bah!! My client, Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery… …When the climate changes, we’ll still be there, better than ever. If we can’t sell our wine, we’ll use it for biofuel.

    I’ve been using it for biofuel for ages, it works beautifully! :-)
    ——-
    CRS Reply You should try cleaning paint brushes with it! Works every time!!

  95. Crosspatch, is that all of North America or the NW? We don’t get the full brunt of the arctic blasts here, so our winters are still not so cold.

  96. Why all the hubbub about global average temperature? I mean, we are all worried about the anomaly from this average, but does anyone know what the standard deviation for that statistic is?

  97. “Robert of Ottawa says:
    July 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I thought Walla Walla was in Australia. There’s one in Washington State too?”

    Yup it is there in South East Washington.I have been there a few times.

  98. Crosspatch, is that all of North America or the NW?

    Actually it is only the lower 48 of the US (CONUS).

  99. CRS, Dr.P.H. @ July 2, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Yet again I’m not clear as to what your point is on this thread. However, if Californians truly want decent wines, there is always the possibility of importing them from Australia. (even the French have in fairly recent times advertised their making of wines in the Oz style as preferred by some Europeans).
    This winter here in Oz (Victoria…. so far) has been a bit savage though, and I’ve found it necessary to warm the red stuff in the microwave. Doesn’t seem to hurt it though.

    Oh BTW CRS, Dr P.H. it would be nice if you would respond on that other thread to:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/01/cleaner-air-may-result-in-increased-solar-insolation-and-therefore-warming/#comment-693110

  100. As long as there are large amounts of federal money being allocated to climate research we’ll be deconstructing this crap. Universities and colleges get about 40% of these grants (according to Thomas Sowell) so as long as the money is flowing they don’t care.
    By the way, there are single wineries in Ca. that produce more than 10 million gallons a year.

  101. Speaking of picking fruit. This rule of thumb works for all berries. Pick early in the morning and be done before noon. They will not only taste better but will last longer in that freshened state as you prepare them for storage or use.

    I’m still looking for huckleberry wine that isn’t a cheap mixed fruit version. Am willing to pay bucks for it.

  102. @Ian George and Crosspatch,

    I hope you two aren’t laboring under the mistaken idea that I am a warmist (or even a lukewarmist). The point I made above about there being some warming in the past in this region and that warming having something to do with some people’s agricultural crop preferences is not controversial.

    I personally do not rely on GISS to produce anything of lasting value with respect to temperature records. It has been fiddled with at every level by people whose motives are suspect. It is my personal recollections that I rely upon as I have lived here for nearly 40 years. While my memories are imperfect, I suspect however that they are more reliable than the goosed records of GISS (even those they call RAW).

    Ian, it was you that asked if I had anything to back my statement about the past warming. Sorry if by giving you the GISS link I offended you and got you going, but it was you who asked.

    My position on AGW, CAGW, global warming, climate change, or whatever its adherents wish to call it is that it is clever scam cooked up by some wolves in environmentalist clothing whose real goals have nothing to do the environment.

    I grant that there is some valid science at its core and there are some real scientists working on some valid ideas within the overall framework (otherwise I do not think it would have gotten so far), but the central idea of it – that CO2 drives the climate – has been shown to be false. This was done to some degree back in the 1990’s, but the cooling of the last 10 years really drives it home.

  103. @Doug in Seattle

    I am just making the point that there has been no warming in the continental US since 1998. That’s 13 years of no warming at all yet we still see people in the US putting out “information” about what damage “the warming” is going to do. There just hasn’t been any. That’s the point I am making, and the data doesn’t come from any “denier” site, it comes from the US government’s own database.

  104. Pamela Gray says:
    July 2, 2011 at 3:41 pm
    “If red wine is too acidic/fruity and leaves not that warm glowing caramel aftertaste but a burning gut instead, cut it with a good sherry. It improves bad red wine tremendously. I’m not a fan of white so I don’t know how to improve a bad bottle of that stuff.”
    I imagine that wine snobs will be OMGing your comment but rest assured that you are in good company. I never buy an unproven red wine without adding a bottle of good sherry as insurance. If the red is good, you still can enjoy the sherry separately.

  105. ….A question for Doug: does the temperature record and the precipitation record for the last 30 years support your remark for the Northwest’s wine growing regions individually, and also for the Northwest as a whole? ….

    Grapes grow in the various Eastern Washington Appalachia desert BECAUSE there exists the ability to draw water from the Columbia and other aquifer. Without that water, central Washington would return to the desert that it is. No grapes, no row crops, no fruit trees, no asparagus, no corn, no potatoes, or tomatoes and the economy that it generates.

    Same with California, no irrigation, no grapes, or other produce. One should worry more of extended cold years. Heat is the crop producer, not lack of heat. Dry heat gives us the intensity of flavor, as demonstrated by the art of talian Aaerone.

    Personal preference: It’s hard to beat a fine bottle of California Cabernet; however I enjoy some fine WA cabs as well.

    Dry heat gives us the intensity of flavor, as demonstrated by the art of talian Aaerone.

    Here’s to the fine J Lohr CabI had last evening. Cheers!

  106. Doug
    ‘I hope you two aren’t laboring under the mistaken idea that I am a warmist (or even a lukewarmist). ‘
    No. I was supporting your view but I was a bit clumsy in the way I phrased the original comment. I totally agree with you that GISS has manipulated the data and posted later comments to that effect (see above).

  107. Doug in Seattle says:
    July 2, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Crosspatch, is that all of North America or the NW? We don’t get the full brunt of the arctic blasts here, so our winters are still not so cold.

    In the late fall/early winter of 1978 I was working on a radar antenna on an oil tanker at Cherry Point (North of Seattle). The wind was recording >40 kts and the temperature uncorrected for chill factor was 18º. That, sir, was cold. More so since I’d been living in Washington only since May, having moved here from Newport Beach, CA. Then we had the ice storms, more wind storms, and it does rain some, here. We also get crippling snow fall – crippling only because Seattlites don’t yet know how to drive in the stuff, and the threat of 1/4″ of snowfall is a stay-home event.

  108. crosspatch says:
    July 2, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    And if you plot “annual” temperature (Jan to Dec) from 1998 to 2010 the trend is even steeper. -0.98F/decade. That is nearly a full degree per decade. That would have us in LIA conditions in about 20 years if it continues.

    1998? That El Nino? Come on, isn’t that pretty serious cherry picking? Try shifting the time period one year earlier and you get -0.47 degF / Decade.

    Check out global data at http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:1997/plot/wti/from:1998/trend/plot/wti/from:1997/to:2010.33/trend – click on “raw data” to see the trends:

    #Time series (wti) from 1979 to 2011.33
    #Selected data from 1998
    #Least squares trend line; slope = 0.00359712 per year
    1998 0.214075
    2011.33 0.262037

    #Time series (wti) from 1979 to 2011.33
    #Selected data from 1997
    #Selected data up to 2010.33
    #Least squares trend line; slope = 0.00679967 per year
    1997 0.179855
    2010.33 0.270518

    I’m a climate skeptic, but I really, really hate cherry picking. If you play around for a while on WoodForTrees or the NCDC site you can demonstrate pretty much anything you want….

  109. I think we may have a math error or typo here:

    “California alone produces on average more than 5 million gallons (of wine) per year…the retail value of the state’s wine industry in 2010 at $18.5 billion.”

    That would come to about $3700 per gallon on average. Premium wines, but sheesh!

  110. Cold stress and short seasons have been the rule not the exception in NorCal for the past several years.

  111. We have already proven we can reduce vine stress by 40-50% and water use by 30-40%
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    It makes no sense to me to question the authority of possible change in temperatures by global changes, I simply do not know. They may be right, and thank god we have the ability to change the way we practice in “slightly” warmer conditions as a proactive stance!
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