Climate: the uncertain taste of wine in 2050

What will a Bordeaux wine look like in 2050 if southwestern France ends up in a Spanish climate? A Girondin winemaker has set about making a "vintage of the future", "drinkable" but far removed from today's Bordeaux wines.

"I have assembled red wines from the two typical vines" of the region , Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, but produced much further south, in Tunisia and Minervois, in Languedoc-Roussillon, explains to AFP Pascal Chatonnet, oenologist and manager of Château Haut-Chaigneau, in Néac (Gironde). [19659002Hesayshetook"thehighrange"ofglobalwarmingforecastsbasedontheassumptionthat"therewillbetheclimateofToledoinBordeauxin2050"

"These wines are representative of the expression the vine in this climate ", adds the oenologist commissioned by the Association of Journalists of the Environment (AJE) and a company patron, for this experience according to him unprecedented. "It's a point of view, there's nothing mathematical about it," he adds.

His drink, presented this week in Paris, is limited to 13.5% alcohol . Plus, it would be "caricatural", knowing that we will go little beyond "because the market does not want it."

Verdict of the palace of the expert Monique Josse, the Museum of wine in Paris , and Bordelaise: "This is not what I know since my childhood!"

"To the blind, I would have said a Languedoc, but basic (…) We do not have the terroir , the soil and the subsoil, which make up a big part of the wine.It is drinkable, but there is a lack of finesse, of authenticity. "

She is surprised all the same that the degree of alcohol is only 13.5%. "Over the last 30 years we have already won 3%! In France, we do not even find more wines of thirst, which is a pity."

So what will be rather, according to her, the taste of vintage Bordeaux 2050? "Well … I do not know, it's too difficult to project", there are too many unknowns

– Radical changes –

An increased global temperature of 2 ° C and higher would be the promise of a taste that is too mature, impoverished; the droughts that of a taste more dry and bitter, analyze the experts.

Conclusion of Pascal Chatonnet: "If one wanted to maintain wines of good quality with the climate of 2050, one could not cultivate the same varieties" of vine.

For several years now, in Bordeaux as everywhere in France, the profession has been using its weapons, with the help of science, so that the juices can in the future keep their typicity.

For example with the " Plot 52 ", where since 2009, in the heart of the AOC Graves, the researchers are testing 52 grape varieties of the world to see which would correspond best to the character of the Bordeaux grape varieties.

In the center of the concerns, the vulnerability of the merlot, varietal the more widespread in the Bordeaux, at the early maturation, which may be abandoned.

Meanwhile, the initiators of the 2050 vintage want to first raise awareness. "This bet aims to make it clear that nothing will be the same, that everything goes very fast," said Yves Leers, journalist and author of the environment.

The first thing to do is "to convince yourself of the reality of climate change ", he adds, stressing the economic stakes: the wine sector represents the second largest export post in France after aeronautics

The opportunity also to talk about farming practices to adopt today. For example, less flaying the vine.

Especially since new regions, from Brittany to Sweden or Poland, are (re) discovering wine-growing destinies, or could well rise in power, like Germany or England

For the climatologist Hervé Le Treut, also Aquitain, the experience of the wine of the future is "an interesting exercise". In 8,000 years of viticulture, "we have not experienced radical climate change such as those we are about to live on a global scale," he warns.

Climate: global agreement to reduce carbon emissions from shipping

The International Maritime Organization announced Friday in London the signing of an agreement to reduce "by at least 50%" the CO2 emissions of shipping by 2050 from the level of 2008. [19659002ThisisthefirsttimethattheshippingindustryhassettargetsforfightingclimatechangeThesectorwasnotdirectlyaffectedbytheParisAgreementsignedinDecember2015atCOP21TheIMOhas173MemberStates

This "initial strategy for the first time (…) to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 , while continuing its efforts to eliminate them completely, "says the IMO in a statement.

Its Secretary General, Kitack Lim, felt that this was a "basis for future action", and encouraged member states to "continue (their) efforts."

British Minister transport, Nusrat Ghani, hailed a "decisive moment". "We will work with other member states to ensure that the shipping industry makes the transition to zero-emission vessels as quickly as possible," she said.

The decision was obtained after two weeks of negotiations. IMO did not indicate which countries rejected the text. The United States and Saudi Arabia opposed the versions preceding the final agreement.

The agreement emphasizes the willingness of sector players to achieve, beyond the figure of 50%, the total elimination carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. Commercial shipping accounts for 80% of international freight transport, and 2-3% of global CO2 emissions by source.

According to the Institute of Energy UCL, the agreement is compatible with a global warming of 2 ° C compared to the pre-industrial era, a lower ambition than the Paris agreement, which aims for global warming below this level, with a target of 1.5 ° C.

The agreement is the result of a compromise, some Pacific countries and the European Union pushed to adopt a reduction of 70% to 100 here 2050. In contrast, others, like Japan, did not want to impose r 50% reduction in emissions by 2060.

Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine described the agreement as "historic", while stressing the need to "improve it" to give her country threatened by the rising waters, "a path to survival."

The Climate Action Network considered the agreement a "welcome first step", while being attentive to its application.


Climate change: a lawsuit will pit children against the US government

A lawsuit against children against the US government, accused of failing to protect the planet's natural resources by burning fossil fuels, will begin on Oct. 29, an organization supporting the plaintiffs said on Thursday.

The case, brought to justice by 21 children, adolescents and young Americans, will be tried by a federal court located in Oregon, in the northwestern United States, said Our Children's Trust.

The complaint was tabled in 2015, when Democratic President Barack Obama was in power.

Young Complainants "insure that the US government, by voluntarily creating a national energy model that causes climate change, has violated their constitutional rights to life, to freedom and property, "the source said.

"By setting the trial date for October 29, the court recognizes the urgency of the climate crisis," said one of the youth lawyers, Phil Gregory.

When filing their complaint, the plaintiffs had assured that the US government had known since 1965 the risks of an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, but that it had not done enough to regulate them.

Copernicus delivers its first annual climate report for Europe

INDICATORS. Launched in 2014, the European program Copernicus federates all the Earth monitoring systems, from satellite observation to the measuring stations on land and at sea via the balloons probes. It took four years to set a complete set of studies of land occupation, changes in the oceans and the atmosphere monitoring climate change and more immediate applications. like the security of populations and alerts in case of natural disasters. All services provided are free. The European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts based in Reading (Great Britain), program manager, has just presented all the indicators collected in 2017 for the European continent ]


In 2017, the average temperatures on the European continent were everywhere above the average of the years 1980-2000. 2017 is however only the fifth warmest year after 2007, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Last year temperatures were particularly high in Svalbard (Norway), northern Russia, Spain, Portugal and Spain. in Ukraine. The winter of 2017 was characterized by relatively warm conditions in the north, and rather cold in the south-east (Balkans, Greece) and eastern Europe. In autumn, the temperatures were everywhere higher except for the south of France and the Alps

Regional characteristics appear. Europe is the region of the world where annual temperatures are rising the most in the world. Although global warming has been 1.1 ° C overall since the beginning of the industrial era in the 18 e century, European data show that since the mid-1970s, there has been a rise of 0 1 ° C every five or six years

On the other hand, the annual variations are the strongest. The two warmest years -2014 and 2015- experienced temperatures 2 ° C above the coldest three years of the 1980s. Variability is greater in winter. Thus, between 2010 and 2013, winter temperatures were below average while between 2014 and 2016 they were higher.

Droughts and Precipitations

2017 was a year when the precipitation level was normal on average but very unbalanced between north and south. There has been very little rain in the Mediterranean basin, and abundantly in northeastern Europe (northern Germany, Poland, Baltic country, Russia). The number of rainy days defined as the days when it falls at least 1 mm of water, reveals arid conditions over most of Spain and Portugal, the French Riviera in France and Italy. In these areas, the trend towards prolonged drought is increasing

Copernicus also makes it possible to detect the frequency of extreme events which, according to climate models, should multiply in a warmer atmosphere. As such, 2017 has been a quiet year. The number of days of intense rainfall with at least 20 mm of water was close to the average for the years 1981 to 2010.

The European Arctic Region

In the last four months of 2017, a few North Atlantic regions experienced temperatures 6 ° C higher than the usual average of these early winter days. The first three months had already experienced a positive but less marked anomaly. For the Arctic, the year is the third hottest year after 2013 and 2016. As a result, the winter of 2017 experienced a reduced sea ice surface registering a record in January with a deficit of 600 000 km² compared to the average 1981-2010

Greenhouse Gases

The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) records the net flux of greenhouse gases to the Earth's surface, c that is, it is able to establish the balance between human emissions and the uptake of these gases by the oceans and vegetation.The current measures indicate an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gasses. About 2.5ppm per year To meet the 1.5 ° C increase in temperatures desired by the Paris Agreement, the net flow of carbon emissions varies over a wide range of 150 to 400 billion tons of CO 2 ie between 30 to 80 years before the 1.5 ° C are Bad news: for Europe at least, the role of sinks in the oceans and vegetation is slowing down. Until the 1990s, these wells absorbed 40% of anthropogenic emissions. They are now only 20% erasing, probably because of changes in the atmospheric transport of heat and moisture over Europe.

Sea level

Between January In 1993 and May 2017, the sea level rose by about 3.4 mm per year, which represents an overall rise of eight centimeters. But in some regions, this rise is erased by the rise of the land. This is not the case for Europe, where all the coasts are concerned by the rise in the sea level with the exception of the central Mediterranean.

The following animation shows the evolution of the global atmospheric temperature since 1979


Climate change: slowly but surely, the world's largest desert is expanding

The world's largest hot desert, the Sahara, has grown by 10% in almost a century. This finding was the subject of a study by the University of Maryland published in on Journal of Climate . The Sahara occupies most of the north of Africa. To the south, the desert is bordered by the Sahel, a semi-arid region that separates the desert from the fertile savannahs of the south. However, scientists have studied the rainfall from 1920 to 2013 and they have found that the Sahara extends as the Sahel recedes, disturbing, at the same time, the fragile ecosystems of the grasslands and the lives of the inhabitants of the region.

The Responsibility for Climate Change

The expansion of the Sahara would be largely due to global warming . Thus, d 'after the researchers, the climate change explains for a third this extension of the desert. " Deserts are generally formed in the subtropics because of the circulation of the Hadley cell (closed atmospheric circulation NDLR), through which air rises to the equator and descends into subtropical regions, explains in a release Sumant Nigam, professor at the University of Maryland and lead author of the paper . The Climate Change is likely to expand Hadley cell circulation, causing subtropical deserts to expand northward. " For the professor, the expansion of the Sahara towards the south, suggests for him additional explanations like variations of the temperature of the ocean, which occur in cycles of 50 to 70 years, such as the AMO (or OAM in English)

Deserts are defined by the little annual rainfall they experience. Generally this represents less than 100 mm of rain per year. But scientists noted that the rains fell in the 93 years the study was conducted. " Chad Lake Drying Out This is a very visible sign of reduced rainfall, not only locally, but throughout the region ", is alarmed as well Sumant Nigam. The most notable expansion of the Sahara has been observed during the summer, in wet season. Thus, scientists have found that the Sahara extends 16% during this period. On the contrary, in winter, the dry season, the desert is less extensive.

An example for the rest of the world

" Our results are specific to the Sahara but they probably have implications for the other deserts of the world "says Professor Sumant Nigam. What worries scientists is the probability that 'other deserts on the planet may also spread, thus reducing the area of ​​arable land.

" With this study, our priority was to document the long-term trends of precipitation and temperature in the Sahara.Our next step will be to look at what drives these trends, for the Sahara and elsewhere explains Nathalie Thomas, a graduate student in atmospheric and oceanic sciences at the University of Maryland and lead author of the report We have already begun to look at seasonal temperatures in North America, for example, here the winters are warming, but summers are the same in Africa, the opposite is true, winters are stable but summers are warming, so the constraints in Africa are already more pronounced. "