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Future scenarios for viticultural zoning in Europe: ensemble projections and uncertainties

Abstract

Optimum climate conditions for grapevine growth are limited geographically and may be further challenged by a changing climate. Due to the importance of the winemaking sector in Europe, the assessment of future scenarios for European viticulture is of foremost relevance. A 16-member ensemble of model transient experiments (generated by the ENSEMBLES project) under a greenhouse gas emission scenario and for two future periods (2011–2040 and 2041–2070) is used in assessing climate change projections for six viticultural zoning indices. After model data calibration/validation using an observational gridded daily dataset, changes in their ensemble means and inter-annual variability are discussed, also taking into account the model uncertainties. Over southern Europe, the projected warming combined with severe dryness in the growing season is expected to have detrimental impacts on the grapevine development and wine quality, requiring measures to cope with heat and water stress. Furthermore, the expected warming and the maintenance of moderately wet growing seasons over most of the central European winemaking regions may require a selection of new grapevine varieties, as well as an enhancement of pest/disease control. New winemaking regions may arise over northern Europe and high altitude areas, when considering climatic factors only. An enhanced inter-annual variability is also projected over most of Europe. All these future changes pose new challenges for the European winemaking sector.

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Abbreviations

CompI:

Composite index

DI:

Dryness index

ECA&D:

European climate assessment and dataset

GCM:

Global climate model

GSP:

Growing season precipitation

GSS:

Growing season suitability

HI:

Huglin index

HyI:

Hydrothermal index

IPCC:

International panel on climate change

MOS:

Model output statistics

NIQR:

Normalized interquartile range

RCM:

Regional climate model

TR:

Total range

SRES:

Synthesis report on emission scenarios

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Acknowledgements

We acknowledge the ENSEMBLES project (contract GOCE-CT-2003-505539), supported by the European Commission’s 6th Framework Programme (EU FP6) for supplying the model datasets (http://ensembles-eu.metoffice.com/). We thank Dr. Joaquim Pinto, at the University of Cologne, the German Federal Environment Agency and the COSMO-CLM consortium for providing COSMO-CLM data. We also acknowledge E-OBS and the data providers in the ECA&D project (http://eca.knmi.nl). This study was carried out under the Project Short-term climate change mitigation strategies for Mediterranean vineyards (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia - FCT, contract PTDC/AGR-ALI/110877/2009). This work is also supported by European Union Funds (FEDER/COMPETE - Operational Competitiveness Programme) - under the project FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-022692. H.F. also thanks the FCT for providing a research scholarship (BI/PTDC/AGR-ALI/110877/2009).

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Fraga, H., Malheiro, A.C., Moutinho-Pereira, J. et al. Future scenarios for viticultural zoning in Europe: ensemble projections and uncertainties. Int J Biometeorol 57, 909–925 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-012-0617-8

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Keywords

  • European viticultural zoning
  • Bioclimatic indices
  • Climate change
  • Ensemble projections
  • Viticulture
  • Model uncertainties