The Effect of Global Warming on the Napa Valley, California Wine Economy

1573 Words Oct 7th, 2008 7 Pages
The Effect of Global Warming on the Napa Valley, California Wine Economy

Global warming will have a negative effect on the Napa Valley, California wine economy. This will be caused primarily by the gradual increase in seasonal temperatures and the resulting longer and drier growing seasons.
California revenue directly related to the Napa Valley wine industry is $16.5 billion a year (1). With the United States ranking fourth in world wine grape production with over 80% of these grapes coming from California (1). Over the last half century, in the main wine producing regions of California, Oregon and Washington, the average year round temperatures have increased by 5 degrees Fahrenheit (2).
It is generally accepted by all climatologists
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Scientists predict that climate change may shift production of the best wines from places like Napa Valley to vineyards in the Pacific Northwest and New England, locations that have traditionally been considered too cool for wine production (3). This would not only be devastating economically to the wine industry in Napa but also to the billion dollar tourist industry associated with grape growing and wine production in the Napa Valley.
Not everyone agrees that global warming will be bad for wine production in Napa Valley. Some scientist predict that the warmer temperatures in the upper Napa Valley may shift south a little, not necessarily meaning hotter hots, but making a bigger percentage of the valley warmer (2). In this climate model mountaintops will either stay the same or cool slightly due to increased fog. It may be that the state of California overall will be warmer by about 5 degrees Fahrenheit by 2055 to 2075, with 15 more days of temperatures over 90 degrees, but with marine influence and the predicted increase in fog, the California model won 't necessarily be the Napa Valley reality (2).
Dr. Snyder, from the University of California at Davis, summarized the results of a study on Napa Valley weather patterns between 1917 and 2006 and came to the conclusion that from a grower 's standpoint, the weather has actually improved (6). It

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