Main content area

Framework for high-resolution climate change impact assessment on grapevines at a regional scale

Moriondo, Marco, Bindi, Marco, Fagarazzi, Claudio, Ferrise, Roberto, Trombi, Giacomo
Regional environmental change 2011 v.11 no.3 pp. 553-567
General Circulation Models, adaptation, buds, climate change, grapes, industry, irrigation, markets, rain, simulation models, temperature, viticulture, winemaking, wines, Italy
Understanding the impacts of climate change on viticulture is especially essential in those areas producing high-quality wines. In this work, we create an operational framework to investigate climate change impact on viticulture in the Tuscany region (central Italy) the viticulture industry of which relies on producing high-quality wines to compete in a global market. The framework includes (i) statistical downscaling of General Circulation Model (GCM) outputs for the period 1975–2099 to a local scale; (ii) the use of downscaling outputs as driving variables in specific simulation models; (iii) the spatial interpolation of model outputs to feed an economic and (iv) a quality model. The results show that as a consequence of a progressive increase in temperature and a decrease in rainfall, (a) the area potentially suitable for grapevine cultivation increases; (b) the grapevine growth cycle becomes shorter; (c) the final yield is gradually reduced, particularly in those areas characterised by quality cultivation regulation; and d) the premium wine quality production areas shift towards higher elevations. The proposed framework revealed itself to be an effective tool for climate change impact assessment at a very local scale. Additionally, this approach may be easily extended to testing the effect of different adaptation strategies in terms of management practices (e.g. irrigation) and grape varieties (e.g. longer or shorter cycle, advanced or delayed bud burst).