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Editor's Note

Dealing with change, climate and otherwise

By
8:00am, January 13, 2014

In December, the New York Times published an article about the emergence of English wineries, noting the industry’s rapid growth in the last decade as well as the fact that sparkling wines from the region have recently bested French champagnes in competitions. The story ran in the business section, not the science section, but it was about climate change. And like the article by Susan Gaidos in this issue, it illustrated how changing climate is already changing people’s lives and livelihoods.

Warming temperatures in many grape-growing regions has actually helped winemakers in recent years. Longer growing seasons mean grapes produce more sugar, increasing the alcohol content of the wines, Gaidos reports. But the good times for traditional winemaking regions aren’t scheduled to last. Simulations of different climate scenarios suggest that by midcentury some of the prime wine regions

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