BIO Web Conf.
Volume 12, 201941st World Congress of Vine and Wine
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Published online||19 February 2019|
Water in a warmer world – is atmospheric evaporative demand changing in viticultural areas?
Geisenheim University, von-Lade-Str. 1, 65366 Geisenheim, Germany
The predicted developments in climate are region-specific and adaptation can only be successful considering the regional characteristics with its diverse technical, environmental, economic and social implications. One of the key concerns for many regions is the availability of water through precipitation, the distribution of precipitation throughout the year, and possible changes in evaporative demand of the atmosphere and thus water use. From rising temperatures it is mostly assumed that water holding capacity of the atmosphere will increase in the future as a function of the Clausius-Clapeyron law, which predicts an increase in the saturation vapour pressure of the atmosphere of 6–7% per degree Celsius. As a consequence, a simultaneous increase in potential evapotranspiration (ETp, the amount of water that could potentially be evaporated from soils and transpired by plants due to changes in climatic factors such as temperature, vapour pressure deficit, radiation and wind speed) is assumed in many cases, which would alter soil and plant water relations. However, the same underlying principles also predict an increase in precipitation by 1–2% per degree warming. Additionally, model predictions for many regions forecast altered precipitation patterns and thus in combination with the possibility of increased ETp, farmers around the world fear an increase in the likelyhood of water deficit and a reduction in the availability of water for irrigation. Contrary to expectations, there have been reports on a reduction in evaporative demand worldwide despite increasing temperatures. In many cases this has been related to a decrease in solar radiation observed for many areas on earth including wine growing regions in Europe until the beginning of the 80th (global dimming) of the last century. However, since then, solar radiation has increased again, but ETp did not always follow and a worldwide decrease in wind speed and pan evaporation has been observed. In order to evaluate different grape growing regions with respect to observed changes on precipitation patterns and ETp, the data of seven wine-growing areas in five countries in the Northern and Southern hemisphere across a large climatic trans-sect were analyzed (Rheingau, Germany, Burgundy, Rhone Valley, France, Napa Valley, USA, Adelaide Hills, Tasmania, Australia, Marlborough, New Zealand) were analyzed. Precipitation patterns differed vastly between locations and showed very different trends over observation periods ranging from 23 to 60 years. The ETp has increased continuously in only two of the seven wine growing areas (Rheingau and Marlborough). In most other areas, ETp has been stable during winter and summer for at least 22 years (Rhone Valley, Napa Valley, Tasmania), sometimes much longer (45 years Adelaide Hills), and has been declining in Burgundy after a period of strong increase for the last 13 years. The potential underlying factors are discussed in relation to observed shifts in precipitation patterns.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2019
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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