We can’t ignore global warming any longer.
Particularly wine lovers, as recent analysis has revealed that it’s threatening wine production.
Increased temperatures in the Mediterranean – which from your holidays, you can probably guess was already rather warm – is becoming too hot for workers to work productively in.
Because, as you can imagine, picking grapes all day in the blistering heat isn’t easy.
Researchers analysed productivity levels of grape pickers in Cyprus, following them at different times of year to see if temperature changed things.
And when in summer, temperatures spiked at 36C, a labour loss of up to 27% was recorded.
The researchers put this down to increased exertion on workers’ cardiovascular and metabolic systems. Ouch.
And there’s the matter of working safely, too – in hotter months, workers were able to be out there in the fields 15% less as they needed more irregular and unplanned breaks.
So increasing temperatures thanks to climate change will hardly be doing the industry any good – and could result in huge losses globally.
“Given the increase in environmental temperature during the past five millennia in regions such as the Mediterranean, the workers who currently pick the grapes carry out their jobs under adverse environmental conditions,” the study reads.
“In Cyprus, for instance, the mean maximum temperature in August (the main part of the harvest season) is around 36C.
“These working conditions would be considered a heat-wave in Central European countries such as Germany.“
Considering many of us wouldn’t even sunbathe in temperatures as high as 36C, imagine doing hard labour in that heat.
Which makes having to miss out on our favourite glass of Merlot a little easier to handle.
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