Monday, September 24, 2012

Leading climatologist: "Napa will be a table grape region"

Dr. Gregory Jones
Napa Valley will be growing cheap table grapes by 2050 if global warming projections are accurate, says the world's leading expert on wine climatology.

Moreover, the previous two cool years have distracted people from noticing that Napa Valley's weather is now like what Lodi had 40 years ago, says Dr. Gregory Jones of Southern Oregon University. Meanwhile, Lodi now has weather like what Fresno had 40 years ago.

Jones consults with wineries around the world about climate, advising them on what grapes to plant considering what the climate may be like in the future. "You play for a 25-year sweet spot," Jones said over breakfast last week in Ashland, Oregon.

And the sweet spot for people planting right now in Napa Valley probably isn't Cabernet and definitely isn't Chardonnay.

"A climate that will be as warm as Napa will be in 2050 would be a table grape region today," Jones says. "Now can people adapt over that time? Maybe. But if climates warm to anywhere near what the projections are, it's a table grape region."


On the counter side, Jones says the Puget Sound region of Washington state will have new cool-climate regions akin to what the wine pioneers in Oregon found in the 1960s. He's also excited about the future of Idaho's Snake River Valley*, which won't face the killing frosts that inhibited the industry until this decade.

* (So am I: Read this.)

Jones' advice is sought in most of the world; he just finished a major study in Portugal's Douro Valley, where growers are counting on their many different grape varieties to give them a hedge against warmer temperatures. He says only in the US does he face resistance to the concept of climate change, although he said in many cases wineries deny global warming publicly while admitting their concerns to him privately. If you had invested millions and had looked up the price of table grapes, you'd be concerned too.

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55 comments:

Cabfrancophile said...

"Wineries deny global warming publicly while admitting their concerns to him privately." When selling rocket juice at exorbitant prices, best not to disagree with your 1%-er Republican customer base.

Rob McMillan said...

That's a pretty dumb perspective from a climatologist.

Lets agree there is global warming. Scientists talk about a degree or two on average hotter, and the reason that's meaningful is that is just an average. Some regions will be warmer or cooler than others. I think we should still all agree thus far.... ?

So it gets down to regional climates and micro-climates. In the case of the Bay Area of California, its a region dominated by the cold Pacific offset by the hot Central Valley. The end result of the difference between the two is fog getting sucked into the SF Bay, up the Delta, and over the coastal range.

So if we are in for a warm up in the Central Valley, it would likely mean a COOLER Napa Valley versus a hotter one. But the bottom line is, if we agree on average its getting warmer, nobody knows what it means in specific micro-climates ... hotter, colder, or constant. There is no science whatsoever that supports that kind of a regional forecast.

W. Blake Gray said...

Rob: I believe Dr. Jones is the one who is doing the science. That's what he does.

Bill Dyer said...

Dr. Jones is making a hypothesis. Other scientists make a case that with a warming global temperature, and the ocean temperatures rising, there will be more evaporation, therefore more water vapor in the coastal weather patterns; e.g. deeper fog, and more fog penetration inland during the summers. Instead of table grapes in Napa, it seems more plausible there will be more districts favorable to Pinot Noir. And perhaps in Dr. Jone's backyard, the Applegate Valley will be more like Galicia--maybe they will pull out their Cabernet in favor of Albarino.

Pinotgraves said...

With all due respect to you, Blake, and to Greg Jones, I am not certain what you were trying to accomplish with this post. Without the normal format of say a scientific paper, it is hard to know exactly what Greg is trying to say--you know, with citations of previous work, hypothesis, experimntal methods, results, conclusions. Your putdown of Rob McM. was just plain snark--because there is no "science" evident in what Greg is quoted as saying. Greg does serious work that deserves our attention. However, this sort of sound bite stuff doesn't serve anyone well. At least give us a link to Greg's webpage at Southern Oregon U. I am not a climate change denier by any means---just the opposite. You can do better and you readers deserve better.

winemarkets said...

Here's the thing. It is far better to have a debate now, while there is still time to do long range scenario planning. Dr. Jones may be spot-on or way-off on his estimates, but it is only prudent to think about obtions if the climate changes should prove him to be right.

Why not at least "think" about the future and say, "OK, if this does happen, what are our options, timing, costs, business models, market demands, constraints, indirect issues, etc.?"

Change can be healthy if you know how to use it to your advantage.

Pinotgraves said...

And since I believe in the doctrine of "walk the walk" (show me your data!), here is a recent paper on summer temps in coastal California:
http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2008JCLI2111.1
And in your pH post, Blake, you mentioned a "warm" summer. You might go to the easy-to-understand
http://www.calclim.dri.edu/ for a look at the departure to the cool side from average for this summer in coastal California.

wine-ev said...

“Napa Valley will be growing cheap table grapes by 2050 if global warming projections are accurate, says the world's leading expert on wine climatology”.
Global warming projections are not even close to accurate. Climate “scientists” don’t even know how to fit (or explain) “clouds” into their simplistic/incomplete (Navier-Stokes equations?!?) models… How long is their data time-series? One hundred and fifty years? And the earth is … 3-4 billions years-old?? Doesn’t it seem that someone is being fooled by the “law of small numbers”? And please don’t mention the infamous climate proxies (coral, forams, Antarctic ice-sheet, tree rings, etc.)…
Unfortunately, robust/realistic long-term global climate (non-linear) modeling is not a feasible/tractable statistical/mathematical/computational task yet.
It would also be interesting to see the data that supports the affirmation that “Napa Valley's weather is now like what Lodi had 40 years ago”; since WRCC official climate data from Calistoga shows that it is, actually, getting cooler in the last 40-50 years? I just hope it is not Saint Helena’s data, where the current weather station is located midtown in a parking lot covered with asphalt.
Calistoga (1961-1990 Normal) 3,599 Winkler’s Heat Units
Calistoga (1971-2000 Normal) 3,555 Winkler’s Heat Units
Calistoga (1981-2010 Normal) 3,482 Winkler’s Heat Units
Source: WRCC

dec4f916-0671-11e2-9ebd-000bcdcb2996 said...

Blake, As others have indicated, the trend in Napa over the past 10 and 70 years has been down (about -0.026 F per year). Visit http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=mean+temperature+Napa+California and select the time period ten year or "all." (The data are quite astonishing for cities like Oslo and Stockholm.)
I've yet to read where Dr. Jones addresses this seeming contradiction in the data compared to his hypothesis. This why the term "climate change" is often more apt than "global warming."

Terry Hall said...

This is a tragic case of reusing inadequate data and trading on the renown of Napa Valley to sensationalize a study that engages one data point from the Napa Valley for its research to draw conclusions. Here, 95% of the producers in the appellation are small, family farmers whose livelihoods are at stake by such irresponsible forecasting. Much of this information is from a more than ten-year old study by the Oregon Wine Commission that failed to look at specific data for the Napa Valley appellation which has experienced very minimal warming over the past fifty years—in fact only about one degree Fahrenheit in overnight temperatures in winter to summer. Not daytime temps and not during harvest.

The Napa Valley Climate Study was completed last year by Dr. Dan Cayan of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and Dr. Kim Nicholas of Stanford University who studied under Chris Field who shared the Nobel Prize with Al Gore. After four years of examining 12,000 data points throughout the region, the conclusion is that what is needed is continued data collection to forecast what the future of Napa Valley might look like with global climate change since to date it is not happening. Longer growing seasons are a style choice by winemakers not a result of climate change.

In fact, the warmest years on record over the past decade have been the coolest years for the Napa Valley—a mix of the region’s very complex micro-climates, position in relation to the Pacific Ocean and the buffering mountains from California’s Central Valley make the forecasting wildly complex.
Here in Napa Valley we believe climate change is very real, but how regions around the world are affected by the changes will be very different—it’s not a blanket effect, so local data and research is required. This sensational commentary fails to examine what in-field practices can be adapted if warming occurs—low tech solutions like canopy management and extending cover crops will go a long way to mitigating additional warmth. While other areas may show promise in cultivating wine grapes, it is simple and uninformed to think that one would pick up and move outstanding Napa-esque wines to Puget Sound. What makes Napa Valley unique is its dry, Mediterranean climate, the diurnal temperature of cool nights and warm days, overnight coastal fog and the myriad other factors that make the region of note that it is today.

Read the report
http://www.napavintners.com/trade/tm_3_release_detail.asp?ID_News=3221202

Terry Hall, Napa Valley Vintners

chilecopadevino said...

Hey the Napa will be producing Southern Rhone style wines, Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Syrah and the other grapes from there love the heat and the wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are pretty good, opps there is that Château word used out of context ;)

chilecopadevino said...

Hey the Napa will be producing Southern Rhone style wines, Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Syrah and the other grapes from there love the heat and the wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are pretty good, opps there is that Château word used out of context ;)

Pinotgraves said...

With respect to climate science in general, wine-ev is misinformed. He/she repeats the false assertion that models have been unable to forecast observed changes and that clouds are not included in climate models. Both are just flat not true. And remember the old and true adage:"All models are false, but some are useful." And the models are getting more useful as time passes.

Rob McMillan said...

Blake - So I'm clear, I'm not speaking negatively of Dr. Jones. I like the work that he does and have been on panels with him. I genuinely enjoy his thinking.

But as it relates to this, he is not "doing" the science from the perspective of being the most trusted source on the topic. Climate change and the impact in regions is being worked on all over the earth. This is just a guess that ignores other scientific options.

For the other reader, I wouldn't confuse this guess with a hypothesis either. Hypothesis are supported by scientific study and observation. Findings are submitted for peer review. As far as I am aware, Dr Jones field is in Climatological research in Oregon To the extent there is any California work done at all, no way would the conclusion here be supported in peer review. The science doesn't exist to predict regional forecasts in 50 years let alone next month.

And to the other reader, while it might be useful to prepare for climate change, how can you do that when there is no way to predict if it will be hotter or colder?

I'm saddened for Dr Jones this sound bite keeps getting printed because I do respect him and have to believe its taken out of context and he would agree there is no evidence to support the statement.

wine-ev said...

Pinotgraves wrote: "With respect to climate science in general, wine-ev is misinformed. He/she repeats the false assertion that models have been unable to forecast observed changes and that clouds are not included in climate models. Both are just flat not true".
Would you mind citing your sources?
Regarding “clouds”, I observed that the non-linear effect of “cloud feedback” and “radiative forcing”, which can amplify or diminish the initial temperature perturbation, is not well understood and cannot be explained by climate scientists and their naïve models. I could cite dozens of papers that corroborate this notion…
And yes, it is true that “models have been unable to forecast observed changes”.
Quoting an old jargon like "[a]ll models are false, but some are useful" is not enough: I hope you can do better than that.

Gregory Jones said...

Again, as I and many others have said about this issue ... if what we know today about how climate controls what varieties can ripen in a region and what wine style can be produced, and climates warm even half of what science is projecting, then these changes are very likely. And yes, these are hypotheses ... that is how science works. Are there uncertainties, yes and these are what science are trying to better understand. However, one thing is for certain, climates have changed ... a grower 30-60 years ago is not growing the same thing, exactly the same way, in the same climate ... just like someone dealing with a bank is doing so in a very different financial environment than that of 30-60 years ago.

As for the coastal zone dynamics at play in the western US and other wine producing regions worldwide, there is mixed evidence on coastal zone cooling (fog and marine layer incursions). Some research shows a decline in fog depth and frequency, while others show an increase. What is clear from observations and models is it is not likely to stay the same. So if the coastal zone cooling gets weaker, there is a resulting climate warming inland along that zone. And if there is coastal zone strengthening then those same zones get cooler and have less ability to ripen fruit. Either way it will alter the climates in those zones.

Thanks to Pinotgraves for putting it into perspective, winemarkets for clarity in addressing the issue, and if the NVV analysis is correct then I wonder where the peer-reviewed manuscript is?

Michael Donohue said...

I heard a few years ago that Napa historically had 32 frost days per year and that that number had dropped to 8. Can anyone provide an update? I'm no viticulturist but understand that grapes need/like a period of winter dormancy. They may not be able to get that if the temperature is fluctuating from 30 to 50 through out the winter.

Portland Charcuterie Project said...

It's too late. They're already making overpriced, overextracted "table wine".

meh.

Rob McMillan said...

Greg -
Again let me say I appreciate your work and am a fan of yours. I am open to any supported decision. Please correct my view then. As I read your response, your perspective is:

....if what we know today about how climate controls what varieties can ripen in a region and what wine style can be produced, and climates warm even half of what science is projecting, then these changes ("Napa Valley will be growing cheap table grapes by 2050") are very likely.

In your response you further say: "As for the coastal zone dynamics at play in the western US and other wine producing regions worldwide, there is mixed evidence on coastal zone cooling (fog and marine layer incursions). Some research shows a decline in fog depth and frequency, while others show an increase. What is clear from observations and models is it is not likely to stay the same."

From what I read then, you are defending this grossly misleading statement on Napa as supported by science ...a hypothesis?

In your reply on the one hand you argue "if what we know about climate change takes place, these changes are likely" ....and then you go on to cite the mixed scientific evidence on Coastal Zone influence. How from those two conflicting statements, can you come to the conclusion or even a supported hypothesis (which is different from speculation) that Napa Valley will have similar weather to Lodi or Fresno and so be making cheap table wines? There is a conflict in reasoning.

I believe you are taking a large leap of reasoning moving from generalities of the scientific evidence of global warming, and extrapolating that to a specific region.

Do you believe there is scientific evidence supporting the hypothesis the coastal zone will warm and using your words)its then "very likely" Napa will be as hot as Fresno and be growing cheap table grapes? Do you think that is really "very likely?"

Thanks for your response. Again, I truly value your work and opinion so please don't take this as a personal affront.

Pinotgraves said...

wine-ev:
Here is a link to the state of play in 2001; as you can see, clouds have been in the models for more than a decade.
http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc_tar/?src=/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/271.htm
As for success in modeling, here is the sate of the art ca. 2000.
http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc_tar/?src=/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/figspm-4.htm
Finally, a link to the ambitious World Climate Programme project for model comparison:
http://www.realclimate.org/docs/CLIVAR_Exch56.pdf
So, those are (some of) my sources.

Pinotgraves said...

wine-ev---BTW, where are your cites for the "dozens of papers"? I put my cards on the table..and yours?
And Greg is right about the state of what we know already--James Johnstone's paper in PNAS says fog depth and frequency have decreased--which might conflict with the Lebassi et al. observations--or not.

ChrisHowell said...

Global Warming is of concern to all of us on the planet - it is about our survival. It is also of concern to all wine lovers. Greg Jones has been among the first to make the connection.

Even though wine is not about life and death, it can be about beauty. Without beauty, would life be worth living? One of the more beautiful things about the great wine regions of the world is their long and deep cultural history - often going back hundreds or even thousands of years. If ever there were a model of sustainability, and the clear need to maintain sustainability for future generations, this is it.

The identity of any great wine region is predicated on a stable, unchanging climate. But, in nature, change is the rule. Current scientific consensus is that this change will be cataclysmic. Thus, all of the established wine regions of the world are threatened by Global Warming / Climate Change, and so too, are all the wines we have come to know and love.

It is interesting to note, as can be read in the preceding comments, the Global Warming signal is not as clear in the Napa Valley as one might think - hence the more useful term is indeed, “Climate Change.”


ps. In the NVV study, the most interesting data concern the phenological growth stages of the grapevines - that is how the plant has responded to the climate. Here we cannot yet read a signal in the dates of budbreak or bloom, however over the next decade, we might be able to detect a clear signal in the time interval between bloom and veraison.

pps. We have just experienced not two, but four late harvests, and happily, 2012 can be called 'normal.' At the beginning of fall, in the last week of September, we are just beginning to pick Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The weather is perfect, and hopefully most of the harvest will be in before the autumn rains. It looks like a really good year!

wine-ev said...

Pinotgraves:
IPCC Third Assessment Report - Climate Change 2001? Are you sure this is the best you’ve got?
Even though IPCC material is normally deeply biased, it seems you did not read the report you cited. I’m quoting it below:
“The potential complexity of the response of clouds to climate change was identified in the SAR as a major source of uncertainty for climate models. Although there has been clear progress in the physical content of the models, clouds remain a dominant source of uncertainty, because of the large variety of interactive processes which contribute to cloud formation or cloud-radiation interaction: dynamical forcing - large-scale or sub-grid scale, microphysical processes controlling the growth and phase of the various hydrometeors, complex geometry with possible overlapping of cloud layers. Most of these processes are sub-grid scale, and need to be parametrized in climate models”.
“As can be inferred from the description of the current climate models gathered by AMIP (AMIP, 1995; Gates et al., 1999) the cloud schemes presently in use in the different modelling centres vary greatly in terms of complexity, consistency and comprehensiveness”.
In case you’re interested in real (recent, not a decade old stuff) climate science though, you should read the following:
- Dessler, A.E., and S. Wong, Estimates of the water vapor feedback during the El Nino Southern Oscillation,J. Climate, 22, 6404-6412, 2009.
- Dessler, A.E., A determination of the cloud feedback from climate variations over the past decade, Science, 330, DOI: 10.1126/science.1192546, 1523-1527, 2010.
- Dessler, A.E., Energy for air capture, Nature Geosci., 2, DOI: 10.1038/ngeo691, 811, 2009.
- Fueglistaler, S., Dessler, A.E., Dunkerton, T.J., Folkins, I., Fu, Q. and Mote, P.W. The tropical tropopause layer, Rev. Geophys., 47, RG1004, DOI: 10.1029/2008RG000267, 2009.
- Dessler, A.E., Zhang, Z, and Yang, P. The water-vapor climate feedback inferred from climate fluctuations, 2003-2008, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L20704, DOI: 10.1029/2008GL035333, 2008.
- Y. S. Choi, R. S. Lindzen, C. H. Ho, and J. Kim, 2010: Space observations of cold cloud phase change. Proc .Nat .Acad. Sci., 107, 11211-11216. [pdf]
- Y.-S. Choi, C.H. Ho, S.-W. Kim and R.S. Lindzen, 2010: Observational diagnosis of cloud phase in the winter antarctic atmosphere for parameterizations in climate models. Adv. Atm. Sci., 27, 1233-1245. [pdf]
- Covey, C., A. Dai, D. Marsh, and R.S. Lindzen, 2010: The Surface-Pressure Signature of Atmospheric Tides in Modern Climate Models, J. Atmos. Sci., 68, 495-514, DOI: 10.1175/2010JAS3560.1.
- Choi, Y.-S., H. Cho, R.S. Lindzen, and S.-K. Park (2011) An effect of non-feedback cloud variations on determination of cloud feedback. Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, submitted.

If you want more, please feel free to ask.
Cheers,

Pinotgraves said...

wine-ev:
Ironic you should include Dessler and Lindzen in the same set of citations to prove the same point. Their results are diametrically opposed and contradictory--they cannot both be true. I invite everyone to look at the Youtube video of Dessler dismantling Lindzen.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9Sh1B-rV60
There is a short but pungent paper from Dessler that is a complete Lindzen takedown--
http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/18383638/121565536/name/2011GL049236.pdf
My point about the TAR of the IPPC was that the modellers have been working on the cloud issue for a long time.
And then you throw in the canard about the IPCC being "biased"---against what, exactly?
Ball's in your court, wine-ev.

Pinotgraves said...

wine-ev:
Ironic you should include Dessler and Lindzen in the same set of citations to prove the same point. Their results are diametrically opposed and contradictory--they cannot both be true. I invite everyone to look at the Youtube video of Dessler dismantling Lindzen.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9Sh1B-rV60
There is a short but pungent paper from Dessler that is a complete Lindzen takedown--
http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/18383638/121565536/name/2011GL049236.pdf
My point about the TAR of the IPPC was that the modellers have been working on the cloud issue for a long time.
And then you throw in the canard about the IPCC being "biased"---against what, exactly?
Ball's in your court, wine-ev.

wine-ev said...

Pinotgraves:
I never said that both sides are right; I simply noted that “the non-linear effect of “cloud feedback” and “radiative forcing”, which can amplify or diminish the initial temperature perturbation, is not well understood and cannot be explained by climate scientists (from both sides) and their naïve models”.
And although Lindzen’s Iris Hypothesis (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Iris/) seems to be the most plausible explanation for the role of clouds, my opinion is completely irrelevant; yours too.
The IPCC, on the other hand, is merely interested in raising money, through a fear agenda, in order to feed its huge bureaucracy.

Rob McMillan said...

Pinotgraves and Wine-ev .... I appreciate your learned perspectives but let me pull you back to the debate because I think you agree on the debate avout the blogs thesis statement:

*What I get from PinoGraves is: Global warming is real but the notion Napa will be hot and forced to make high volume production wines is in debate because of the dynamics of coastal influence.

*What I get from W-Ev is: The notion Napa will be hot and forced to make high volume production wines is in debate because global warming is in debate.

So don't you both agree there is nothing that supports with any degree of scientific certainty, that Napa will be hot by 2050 and forced to make high volume production wines?

Strangely, it seems Dr Jones also agrees there is no consensus in the scientific community that coastal influence is predictable in a hotter climate either.

Pinotgraves said...

wine-ev:
"The Iris Hypothesis is the most plausible..."--after Lin et al. analyzed the CERES data? This is real inside baseball stuff for normal people, but wine-ev's views are not shall we say widely held.
And as for your trashing of the IPCC--it has a total of 10 paid staff in Switzerland and some support staff for the chairs for three IPCC working groups. Oh, you mean all those wealthy greedy scientists trying to take money from the selfless fossil fuel industries, who are looking out for the rest of us....
And Rob, there is a little more nuance to the situation, but in the little slice of the world where we live and make wine, there is a lot left to learn.

Rebecca Chapa said...

I think this whole thing is Blake's brilliant way of getting a lot of people fired up, you could say the Mosel will be no longer be growing Riesling, Burgundy will be growing Syrah etc etc, but instead the attack was on Napa. There are no studies cited, no evidence whatsoever...at least in the article here...

I believe:
Global warming is happening...
There is no certain way to know how that will affect our wine growing areas of California, especially with our already unique climate and fog patterns...
Just because climate changes and shifts that does not mean that science cannot mitigate these changes, and that humans cannot embrace those changes...

I think that the article (sorry Blake) is flawed in that it hopes to "call out" Napa's successful wines and suggest that in a few years they will be worth nothing.

Napa is not just about climate, it's about soil, history and people who have cared a ton about what they do for CENTURIES, so I for one am not worried. Napa has weathered the storms of prohibition, phylloxera, wars, as has the rest of California. So unless the big earthquake that will likely happen before all this climate change makes Napa the next Atlantis, I have no doubt that they will be still be making great wines in 2050...and I hope to still be around to enjoy them!

Chris Wallace said...

Assuming the report is correct in its basic premise, that Napa will become too warm to produce good quality viniferous grapes, I would suggest that is a conclusion about the valley floor. Expect to see a land rush for elevation 2500 feet plus in and around the valley. Few great things just "end" abruptly. Human ingenuity allows us to deal with change. Vignerons adapt. Phylloxera did not kill the industry, Pearce's disease has not killed the industry, 5 Napa-like vintages in Bordeaux in the first decade of the millenium did not kill the industry. Somehow the elevation of temperatures won't manage to kill the industry either. I think it is good to have theses reports published. It gets people thinking about what they need to do.

W. Blake Gray said...

Rebecca: I quoted an expert who said something worth quoting. How is that flawed?

What I'd like you to do is point out to me who in Napa Valley has made wine there for CENTURIES. You put it in all caps, back it up. I'll accept even one century. Go on.

Rebecca Chapa said...

Blake, I appreciate your quoting this expert, and I am not saying he is not quotable or not an expert, but I do not see any evidence here to support his claim... I feel some statistics, some background some history is needed in order to round out this argument that you are making that Napa will be forced to grow table grapes in the future... Maybe he has this data and you could reference that or share it but it seems to be just a quote without any factual information to explain your theory... SO I just think if you are going to take such a firm stance it would be great to have that background and explain in addition why Napa is targeted in the article, perhaps some info as to why Sonoma or other California regions or even perhaps Bordeaux are not doomed as well, or maybe we could speculate that they are...

If you read my comment carefully I said Napa is about "people who have cared a ton about what they do for CENTURIES". That includes wine people as well, but it also includes all the early settlers that set the stage for what Napa is today... That includes the earliest settlers who knew that it was a special place full of potential and rich in resources... and yes there has been an interest in wine and grape growing since 1836 when the first vines were planted...my point is that the people there care enough about Napa to weather challenges...

Read carefully, I NEVER SAID THAT PEOPLE MADE WINE THERE FOR CENTURIES...

Now, the irony... you are asking me to back up a claim that I NEVER made with proof yet your article has not one fact that supports your premise.

Why will Napa make table wines in the future due to global warming?
Your answer?
Because this guy who is a leading scientist says so and you believe him?

I just would have expected a little more... I don't agree with the claims he makes, I have heard arguments contrary to his, thus I want some proof, facts or other info so I can evaluate and consider his theory and reevaluate my stance on the issue, your article does not offer that for me.

Rob McMillan said...

Blake - slightly off topic as a question in the context of your blog post, but wine has been made in the Napa Valley for over 100 years. Inglenook Winery opened in 1879. There were earlier entrants but I don't know them off the top of my head. Read The History of Wine in America by Phinney for the definitive answer though.

Jack Everitt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wine-ev said...

Pinotgraves:
In one of your comments you asserted that I’m “misinformed” and that my affirmations with respect to the “cloud effect” on long term climate forecasting are “just flat not true”. However, you have failed to substantiate your claim and to mention the fact that the IPCC (in one of your own sources), as well as the entire scientific community, endorse my position that the influence of clouds (whenever its role is fully understood) can flip the coin of climate change to both sides: warming or cooling. This leads us to the conclusion that the entire (long term) climate forecasting business is either a poorly understood random process (i.e., a game of chance), or that scientists still do not have the ability (i.e., software & hardware) to explain the complex dynamics of climate change.
If you want an honest debate, please address the aforementioned argument with facts; not proselytism, wishful thinking and/or political/ideological views. As I noted before, your opinion is irrelevant to this discussion.
Regarding the IPCC, it is comprised of representatives from 194 governments. They meet annually to discuss the organization’s findings and elect the IPCC Bureau, which consists of 31 people including the chair and vice-chairs and its working groups.
The IPCC also employs ten full-time staff in its secretariat and each working group also has a technical support unit of administrative staff. WGI has nine staff (University of Bern, Switzerland); WGII has 16 staff employed (Carnegie Institute for Science, Stanford, USA). WGIII has 20 staff members (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany).
So, if we discard the 194 government representatives and the 800 plus scientists, which are paid consultants on a project basis, there are still 86 full time employees left in the IPCC structure (Bureau: 31; Secretariat: 10; 3 WGs Staff: 45; Total: 86)

McSnobbelier said...

Blake, I was under the impression that wine was too low in abv to be flammable ~ so goes another scientific hypothesis.

I am very excited about the next wine fire you ignite, it is a joy to observe.

A similar scientific theory was in the press several years ago about the region of Champagne, my French is quite flawed so I don't know if that was as much of a debate. But I have noted that several Champagne house have acquired property in England (I think coastal)...hmm what's the price of fallow acreage in Puget?

Perhaps Chris Howell can give us an indication of if there is an increase in value and interest in higher elevation land for vines ~ or maybe Rob.

Anyhow just keep stirring the pot.

W. Blake Gray said...

Rebecca: I don't care about your stance on global warming. I'm not interested in trying to convince you of anything.

I reported something. You can believe it or not. That's all.

W. Blake Gray said...

Rob: Yeah, I know wine has been made in Napa Valley since then, but I don't know of any family who has been making it there even since Prohibition. Longest tenured family I can think of is the Mondavis. Cesare Mondavi bought part of Sunny St. Helena in 1933.

There's probably a separate blog post in this, but could be a little comment drift ... does anyone know of a family that has been making wine in Napa longer than the Mondavis?

Bill Geofferys said...

I'm not qualified to debate or confirm the science; however, what I think is *pretty* clear is that Blake Gray likely published this not so much out of interest in facts or science, but because he would love to see Napa actually fail
Blake Gray has no interest in diversity; just derision of whatever does not fit into his small view of the wine world.

Jordan Gianelli said...

Your scientist who dedfintiely knows his weather aparently holds little perspective about the business of wine. Yes it is warming.

Do you think that the vines will stop producing fruit? Do you think that Constellation Brands is going to rip out the famed To Kalon vineyards (All 450+ acres of it) and replant to table grapes?

Will Silver Oak see a catastrophic decline in sales, ever?

This is a thirsty nation. Not all wine consumers are wine educated.

Napa cab of the future will no doubt be different than we know it today or 30 years ago. People will still buy Napa until the Valley and all of its 16 AVA's are boiling in one communal pool of lava.

No table grapes will ever, I repeate ever be planted in Napa. Table wine grapes maybe, but table grapes found at the grocery store, never.

Pinotgraves said...

wine-ev--
If I cite a paper that refutes in detail the hypothesis of a researcher whose work you describe as "the most plausible"--and you accuse me of proselytizing and not offering evidence--I don't know what to say. So I asked Andy Dessler of Texas A&M in an email just now--he is one of the major cloud/water vapor researchers in the world--and you cited him after all. Here is what he said:
"I would say the evidence is strongly in favor of a positive cloud feedback, and possibly a strongly positive one. We cannot rule out a negative cloud feedback, but we can pretty much rule out a negative feedback large enough to cancel out the other positive feedbacks."
So, wine-ev, your own no-evidence assertions ("models don't work") remain hanging out there.

Rebecca Chapa said...

Blake wow, my apologies, I was really confused...

I though you were approaching the topic as journalist not a reporter...

It's my opinion that a journalist actually looks at all sides of a topic, investigates them as fully as they see fit, comes up with an opinion and writes a piece that is authoritative and persuasive hoping to bring the reader to their side, but "you don't care what I think."

In my opinion a reporter reports what they hear, hopefully accurately, without an opinion.

I think you're missing my whole point, I feel you shouldn't just make a statement and suggest it's true without a more thorough investigation of the evidence. I think it's a shame because people respect you and your writing, including me. It reminds me of politicians and people in power in any field, they make a statement without proof and the public believes it because it's in print, in a blog or they were on TV or they don't know enough about the topic to have their own opinion. This I feel is a problem in this new generation with such a quick dissemination of information...

So I'm glad you don't care what I think as I am not intending this to be an attack, but seems you got fired up enough about my comments to respond to me directly so I think you do care a little bit. Just reporting my opinion, I don't need to prove it.

Matt J - Sacramento said...

Rebecca - don't forget that this is a blog. Everything Blake posts here is not approached or presented as a journalist but as a blogger-there's a difference. It is curious that he chose to pick on you out of the myriad of fantastic comments on this topic. It's Blake's blog (and usually a great read) so he can push his personal views any way he wants. He doesn't need to cite "credible" sources or explain context - ever.

I just hope everyone read through the comments although if you're not a climatologist you'll probably have to skim a few with a glazed look over your eyes (those people got heavy). The credibility and context of "Napa will be a table grape region" has been given clarification by a few commentators with a scientific knowledge vastly superior to Blake and probably almost every reader of this blog.

Good discussion and I've highly enjoyed reading the comments. All setup masterfully by the provocateur Mr. Gray.

Rick Kushman said...

Total digression, but to Blake's question about families, I think the Nichelini family has been at it since the middle 1880s, including a house arrest of sorts during prohibition, if I remember the story right.

BTW, I was in the room when Dr. Jones talked about climate change, and according to my notes, Blake reported it accurately. It was part of a larger discussion about how things, including weather and winemaking, change. (And please, don't someone hit me with a list of reports saying nothing ever changes.)

Rick Kushman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wine-ev said...

Pinotgraves:
"I would say the evidence is strongly in favor of a positive cloud feedback, and possibly a strongly positive one. We cannot rule out a negative cloud feedback, but we can pretty much rule out a negative feedback large enough to cancel out the other positive feedbacks." (Dessler, A.)
Do you find this response definitive? What about the next one?
“[C]urrent climate models predict much higher sensitivities. They do so because in these models, the main greenhouse substances (water vapor and clouds) act to amplify anything that CO2 does. This is referred to as positive feedback. But as the IPCC notes, clouds continue to be a source of major uncertainty in current models. Since clouds and water vapor are intimately related, the IPCC claim that they are more confident about water vapor is quite implausible.
“There is some evidence of a positive feedback effect for water vapor in cloud-free regions, but a major part of any water-vapor feedback would have to acknowledge that cloud-free areas are always changing, and this remains an unknown. At this point, few scientists would argue that the science is settled. In particular, the question remains as to whether water vapor and clouds have positive or negative feedbacks.
“The notion that the earth's climate is dominated by positive feedbacks is intuitively implausible, and the history of the earth's climate offers some guidance on this matter. About 2.5 billion years ago, the sun was 20%-30% less bright than now (compare this with the 2% perturbation that a doubling of CO2 would produce), and yet the evidence is that the oceans were unfrozen at the time, and that temperatures might not have been very different from today's. Carl Sagan in the 1970s referred to this as the "Early Faint Sun Paradox." (Lindzen, R.)

While any model could be defined as a simplified/conceptual description of reality, Global Climate Models (GFDL CM2.X & HadCM3) can be described as a gross over-simplification of a hyper-complex reality. The reasons why these models don’t work are logical and self-evident, and I already stated my views in one of my early comments.
Furthermore, if scientists cannot agree whether the long term climate is a stationary or a non-stationary process, or even if temperatures will go up or down in the next 50 years, it seems self-evident/obvious that these models (which do not explain and/or predict the behavior and the relationship between the system’s variables) are useless.

Pinotgraves said...

I will bet on Dessler rather than Lindzen because Lindzen was not correct (understatement) on the iris effect, in spite of your endorsement, and because of the various disassemblies performed on Lindzen and Choi's 2009 paper, see Dessler's paper cited above.
Q. What of Lindzen's recent work has survived scrutiny intact?
A. Not much.
What Lindzen states in your quote is an assertion. Period. And his recent papers on the subject have been shown to be fundamentally wrong over and over, using different approaches. Where is a paper that shows what he asserts about sensitivity using data and theory that has survived intact?

Charles Humble said...

I just wanted to correct Terry Hall's comment claiming that the Oregon Wine Commission funding a study on climate change in Napa or anywhere else for that matter. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Oregon Wine Board (there is no commission) has never funded a study on climate change on any wine region, including Oregon.

Charles Humble said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charles Humble said...

I just wanted to correct Terry Hall's comment claiming that the Oregon Wine Commission funded a study on climate change in Napa or anywhere else for that matter. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Oregon Wine Board (there is no commission) has never funded a study on climate change on any wine region, including Oregon.

Pinotgraves said...

wine-ev:
"The reason these models don't work are logical and self evident". Two problems here--are we to take your word for it on the efficacy of models? And without evidence, the rest, the so-called "logic part", is simply tautology.
The models do a very good job of explaining the behavior of the climate, and do a better job with every passing year. You have a pattern of asking me (for example) to provide evidence while providing none yourself. I have already given you a reference to the testing of models. Once again, where is your evidence--it seems to be something like "It is self -evident that..." Self-evident to you, maybe.

wine-ev said...

Pinotgraves:
You did not (in fact, nobody ever did) quote one single paper that falsifies conclusively (methodically speaking) Lindzen’s work. All I have is your (ideologically biased) layman’s word; which has no value whatsoever. Regarding the Iris Hypothesis, the NASA article I cited states unequivocally that “[t]wo teams of scientists—one based at NASA’s Langley Research Center (LaRC) and the other at the University of Washington—replicated Lindzen’s experiment and arrived at surprisingly different conclusions”.
Well, NASA’s word seems more reputable/trustworthy, than yours, to me…
If models really do their job, as you say, I’m sure you can answer the following questions: 1) Are long term climate patterns a stationary or a non-stationary process? 2) What type of probability distribution best represents the behavior of climate data? 3) Do clouds and water vapor have a positive or negative feedback effect on greenhouse substances? 4) Will mean temperatures go up or down in the Napa Valley and in California’s Central Coast in the next 50 years?
If you can answer all the questions above at a confidence interval of 95%, great! I’ll have to admit that you’re right.
But if you can’t, please, give me (and Blake’s blog) a break now… will you?

Pinotgraves said...

wine-ev:
This is my final comment on this go-round, as I think you and I may have worn out our welcome with WBG and everyone else. Of course, you deserve the right of reply. I have to say I am confused--it is as if we are living in parallel universes in terms of rhetoric. From my point of view, this is what seems to have gone on in the last few iterations, using the example of Lindzen and Dessler. You believe Lindzen's contribution on climate sensitivity (say Lindzen and Choi, 2009 "On the Determination of Climate Feedbacks..." in GRL.) I counter with say the work of the refuttation by Trenberth et al. of that paper in the same journal, or Dessler ("Cloud variations and the Earth's Energy Budget") in the journal.same journal.) Lindzen's work is pretty well shredded, by my lights. In this last post, you cite the article on the work from NASA. It would seem from your quote that you believe it supports Lindzen--but you must not have read part 2. In that the Langley team describes their work in which Lindzen's results are *not* replicated--in fact they find a slight positive feedabck, instead of the negative one that Lindzen described. So, yes, don't take my word for it--ask the NASA researchers: "We find that the Iris Hypothesis won't work." I am for once speechless that this is the best you can do. Layman indeed....
So, wine-ev, to come out in the open, I am David Graves, I work at Saintsbury, and if you ever want to have a debate in person, I would be pleased to engage. And you?

Pinotgraves said...

Ooops, my bad--I should reply to wine-ev's last questions:
1) don't quite know what "stationary/non-stationary" mean in this instance--the models are dynamic, and don't return to a central value regardless of forcing.
2) the model runs have confidence intervals already
3) it looks to me like the evidence (as cited above) is for likely a slight positive, and very unlikely a large enough negative one to offset positive forcings.
4) so-called Regional Climate Models anticipate warming. Climate change may affect the California Current and upwelling in unknown (at this time) ways. Do you mean growing season? Change could be asymmetric (e.g. warmer nights), rather than daytime highs, with different effects.
And speaking of asymmetry, I wil apply the same standard to your argument in answering the last one: can you say with 95% confidence that it won't? I thought not.

wine-ev said...

Pinotgraves:
Funny how people only see what they want to see…
Lin, evidently, stated that "[w]e find that the Iris Hypothesis won't work." NASA’s conclusion, on the other hand, is that “[c]urrently, both Lindzen and Lin stand by their findings and there is ongoing debate between the two teams. At present, the Iris Hypothesis remains an intriguing hypothesis—neither proven nor disproven. The challenge facing scientists is to more closely examine the assumptions that both teams made about tropical clouds in conducting their research because therein lies the uncertainty”.
And BTW, you forgot to write your defense of IPCC’s climate models. But never mind. Let’s forget the whole thing. My name is Peter O’Connor (I’m a financial - and commodities - data modeler and algorithm developer) and whenever you feel like continuing this discussion you can contact me through my website (www.wine-ev.com).
Cheers,