By Emily Farmer
A report by the world-leading Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has found that wineries are among the industries that will be most hurt by climate change.
As part of this agreement the UNFCCC set a global temperature rise target of 2C with an “aspirational target” of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. This aspirational target was outlined because some participating countries, particularly island nations, determined that a 2C rise would be far too high.
To examine the difference between a rise of 1.5C and 2C the UNFCCC requested a special report, released last week, from the IPCC to investigate what the implications of even a 1.5C rise would be.
Murdoch University climate scientist Dr Jatin Kala was a contributor to the first chapter of this report. He says that Mediterranean climates like the Swan Valley will feel the effects of climate change far more than other areas.
“The 1.5C that scientists talk about is a global average temperature,” Dr Kala said.
“So you take land and sea temperatures from across the globe, calculate the mean of all of them and you get the average temperature of the entire globe.”
“In places with a Mediterranean climate like the South-West of Western Australia with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters it means that when the globe warms by even 1.5C the increase in summer will be felt much more,” he said.
Jaden McLean, vineyard manager at Woodlands Winery said that while each growing season is different there has been a noticeable change to when their grapes come out of dormancy.
“A lot of our job is predicting what the weather will be like in the coming year,” McLean said.
“This year for example, our May was quite warm which meant our vines were dormant for much longer than usual.”
“Coming out of winter, I would have usually been watering for two or three weeks by now, but I haven’t even turned the sprinklers on.”
The IPCC report found that human induced global warming has been rising at a rate of 0.2C per decade.