CBS Serves Whine with Global Warming
Global warming may doom the Napa Valley, CBS News warned its July 12 â€śEvening Newsâ€ť 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 donâ€™t match up against recorded climate patterns.
â€śNew research says global warming threatens to make the Napa Valley too hot to make fine wine,â€ť Blackstone warned. A new study by Purdue Universityâ€™s Noah Diffenbaugh, Blackstone added, predicts that â€śacross the country global warming could destroy more than 80 percent of the best vineyards.â€ť
But scientists who had a skeptical take on Diffenbaughâ€™s conclusions were
missing from Blackstoneâ€™s report.
In a July 11 article on Diffenbaughâ€™s study, San Francisco Chronicle environment reporter Jane Kay cited University of Alabamaâ€™s John Christy and the National Center for Atmospheric Researchâ€™s (NCAR) Kenneth Trenberth as skeptics of Diffenbaughâ€™s conclusions.
Christy found â€śthat using a model to reproduce past observationsâ€ť was not â€śsuccessful for the years 1910-2003â€ť when calculating central California climate changes for a recent study published in the American Meteorological Societyâ€™s Journal of Climate, Kay reported.
â€śI would not base economic decisions on the output of regional predictions from these models,â€ť Christy told the Chronicle. â€śAs Alabamaâ€™s state climatologist, Iâ€™ve watched agriculture closely during these past 20 years, and Iâ€™ve seen how farmers have applied clever adaptations to overcome many negative impacts on their produce, including those from climate variations.â€ť
â€śModels are not good enough for this purpose in my view,â€ť agreed NCAR climate analyst Kevin E. Trenberth, who is no global warming skeptic. Kay added that most of Trenberthâ€™s colleagues â€śdonâ€™t yet accept predictions of future effects on crops,â€ť even though they believe in melting glaciers producing â€śrising sea levels.â€ť
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 todayâ€™s climate change.
â€śA 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€ť 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 â€śthe Little Ice Ageâ€ť that begin in the Middle Ages.