Climate modeling at local scale in the Waipara winegrowing region in the climate change context

In viticulture, a warming climate can have a very significant impact on grapevine development and therefore on the quality and characteristics of wines across different spatial scales, ranging from global to local. In order to adapt wine-growing to climate change, global climate models can be used to define future scenarios, but only at the scale of major wine regions. Despite the huge progress made over the last ten years in terms of the spatial resolution of climate models (now downscaled to a few square kilometres), they are not yet sufficiently precise to account for the local climate variability associated with such parameters as local topography, in spite of these parameters being decisive for vine and wine characteristics. This study describes a method to downscale future climate scenarios to vineyard scale. Networks of data loggers have been used to collect air temperature at canopy level in the Waipara winegrowing region (New Zealand) over five growing seasons. These measurements allow the creation of fine-scale geostatistical models and maps of temperature (at 100 m resolution) for the growing season. In order to model climate change at pilot site scale, these geostatistical models have been combined with regional climate change predictions for the periods 2031-2050 and 2081-2100 based on the RCP8.5 climate change scenario. The integration of local climate variability with regionalized climate change simulations allows assessment of the impacts of climate change at the vineyard scale. The improved knowledge gained using this methodology results from the increased horizontal resolution that better addresses the concerns of winegrowers. The results provide the local winegrowers with information necessary to understand current processes, as well as historical and future viticulture trends at the scale of their site, thereby facilitating decisions about future response strategies. 

Authors: Renan Le Roux1, Andrew Sturman2, Gwenaël Morin3, Pierre-Gilles Lemasle3, Benjamin Pohl4, Amber Parker5, Nicolas Fauchereau6 and Hervé Quénol3

1INRAE, US1116 AGROCLIM, Avignon, France 
2School of Earth and Environment, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand 
3CNRS, UMR6554 LETG, Université Rennes 2, Rennes, France 
4UMR6282 Biogéosciences, CNRS / Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Dijon, France 
5Department of Wine, Food and Molecular Biosciences, Lincoln University, Lincoln, New Zealand 
6National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Hamilton, New Zealand 


Keywords: climate change, modelling, downscaling, local scale, Waipara winegrowing region

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