Spain and Portugal may be left without wine and olives due to climate change

(ORDO NEWS) — A shortage of wine and olives may arise due to climate change. Pressure swings over the North Atlantic could lead to drought in parts of Portugal and Spain.

Probably, the absence of these products on the market will upset not only the Spaniards and the Portuguese, but also all lovers of wine and snacks.

Portugal and Spain are the driest countries in Europe in a thousand years due to the Azores High, an area of ​​high atmospheric pressure caused by climate change, according to a new study .

The Azores High rotates clockwise over parts of the North Atlantic and has a major impact on weather and long-term climate trends in Western Europe.

The new study shows that this high-pressure area “has changed dramatically over the last century, and that these changes in the climate of the North Atlantic are unprecedented in the last millennium.”

Spain and Portugal may be left without wine and olives due to climate change 2

Using climate modeling over the past 1,200 years, researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA, found that this high-pressure area began to grow and cover a large area as early as about 200 years ago, when greenhouse gas pollution began to rise. The area expanded more dramatically in the 20th century, in line with global warming.

The authors then looked at evidence of precipitation levels in Portuguese stalagmites and found that as the altitude of the Azores increased, winters in the western Mediterranean became drier.

All this suggests that precipitation levels could fall by another 10-20% by the end of this century. This would make Iberian agriculture “one of the most vulnerable in Europe,” the authors say.

They warn that the height of the Azores will continue to rise during the 21st century as greenhouse gas levels rise, increasing the risk of drought in the Iberian Peninsula and endangering key crops such as grapes and olives.

According to the study, the area suitable for growing grapes in the Iberian Peninsula could be reduced by at least a quarter, and potentially disappear almost completely by 2050 (due to severe water shortages).

The researchers also predicted a 30% decline in olive production in regions in southern Spain by 2100.

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