The viticultural system and climate change: coping with long-term trends in temperature and rainfall in Roussillon, France

  • Lereboullet A
  • Beltrando G
  • Bardsley D
 et al. 
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Mediterranean viticulture could suffer from hotter and drier growing seasons over the coming decades. The present article focuses on the wine-producing area Côtes-du-Roussillon-Villages near Perpignan, in southern France. We used observational daily data (1925–2010) from Perpignan weather station and daily outputs (2001–2060) of the regional climate model ARPEGE-RETIC-V4 from Météo-France with scenarios A2, A1B and B1, to assess the exposure of the regional wine system to changes in temperature and precipitation, both in the recent past and the coming decades (1925–2060). Temperatures during the growing season and summer temperature extremes have been increasing continuously since the mid-1980s and are projected to increase faster from the mid-2040s. Precipitation is highly variable and very low in summer, and projections suggest greater uncertainty, and more extreme drought events could be expected. The analysis of climate data was complemented by thirty-two in-depth interviews with local actors of the wine industry to assess the impacts of climate change on their activities and potential adaptive options. Producers reported negative impacts of recent changes in climate in conjunction with a difficult economic situation. Analyses of historical, social and economic backgrounds are important to fully conceptualize the nature and extent of climate change risks in the region. This case study provides important insights into the roles of non-climatic factors in the generation of vulnerability for Mediterranean agricultural systems facing rapid climate change.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Climate change
  • Mediterranean climate
  • Social-ecological system
  • Viticulture

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  • Anne Laure Lereboullet

  • Gérard Beltrando

  • Douglas K. Bardsley

  • Eric Rouvellac

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