CBS Serves Whine with Global Warming
Global warming may doom the Napa Valley, CBS News warned its July 12 âEvening Newsâ audience. Yet correspondent John Blackstone excluded any scientists, including those who otherwise believe in man-made global warming, who warn that new computer models are inconclusive or donât match up against recorded climate patterns.
âNew research says global warming threatens to make the Napa Valley too hot to make fine wine,â Blackstone warned. A new study by Purdue Universityâs Noah Diffenbaugh, Blackstone added, predicts that âacross the country global warming could destroy more than 80 percent of the best vineyards.â
But scientists who had a skeptical take on Diffenbaughâs conclusions were
missing from Blackstoneâs report.
In a July 11 article on Diffenbaughâs study, San Francisco Chronicle environment reporter Jane Kay cited University of Alabamaâs John Christy and the National Center for Atmospheric Researchâs (NCAR) Kenneth Trenberth as skeptics of Diffenbaughâs conclusions.
Christy found âthat using a model to reproduce past observationsâ was not âsuccessful for the years 1910-2003â when calculating central California climate changes for a recent study published in the American Meteorological Societyâs Journal of Climate, Kay reported.
âI would not base economic decisions on the output of regional predictions from these models,â Christy told the Chronicle. âAs Alabamaâs state climatologist, Iâve watched agriculture closely during these past 20 years, and Iâve seen how farmers have applied clever adaptations to overcome many negative impacts on their produce, including those from climate variations.â
âModels are not good enough for this purpose in my view,â agreed NCAR climate analyst Kevin E. Trenberth, who is no global warming skeptic. Kay added that most of Trenberthâs colleagues âdonât yet accept predictions of future effects on crops,â even though they believe in melting glaciers producing ârising sea levels.â
Blackstone also left out a key fact reported by the CBS Web site: historically, climate change devastated grape growing well before the industrialization which many environmentalists blame for todayâs climate change.
âA thousand years ago when Viking explorers arrived on the coasts of eastern Canada and New England, they named the region Vinland, a designation that has perplexed many historians since grapes are uncommon there now,â CBS News and the Associated Press reported in a July 12 article available on CBSNews.com.
The CBS/AP article even cited Diffenbaugh noting that English vineyards â now resurging from warmer weather â got a chilly reception in âthe Little Ice Ageâ that begin in the Middle Ages.