April 10, 2013

    Photo: Markus Mainka via Shutterstock

Climate Change Could Affect Wine

Production may shift to places like China

Climate change could make that bottle of French Bordeaux even pricier, forcing you to switch to a vintage from Montana or even China. A recent study from Conservation International indicates that shifts in temperature and moisture may render some traditional wine regions unsuitable for growing notoriously picky grapes. 

Popular wine regions could see a decrease production of up to 70 percent by 2050. But other places, especially those in higher latitudes, may find themselves the new premier areas of wine production. One downside: Much of the land with the best wine-growing potential is already occupied by animals like the endangered panda

There is some hope for today's power-châteaus. Vineyards could, for example, plant more resilient grape varieties, says Adelaide University researcher Doug Bardsley. "Actually viticulture can be quite resilient in the face of change." And the upside is that we get to talk more about "viticulture." Great word.

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    Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Hiker Found Dead in Gunnison National Park

Fell to his death in the Black Canyon

Rangers in Gunnison National Park have recovered what they believe to be the body of a hiker missing since Sunday. The unidentified hiker obtained a permit indicating he’d leave the park on Saturday. When rangers found his car at the trailhead Sunday morning, they began a search of his intended route.

The body was located Tuesday in the park’s Black Canyon, 1,000 feet below the canyon’s southern rim. The hiker is believed to have fallen to his death. Rangers are currently attempting to recover the body but have been hampered by an ongoing snow storm.

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    Photo: barryskeates/Flickr

Bird Flu Death Toll Rises to Nine

As Chinese police arrest ten for rumors

Two more patients died of bird flu in China this week, bringing the outbreak's death toll to nine, as officials announced they had traced the source of the virus to chickens and wild birds from around eastern Asia. The China Securities Journal reported on Wednesday that a vaccine for the virus behind the disease, H7N9, was in development, and would be available in the first half of this year.

The strain of bird flu responsible for the current epidemic was first discovered in humans last month, and has infected a total of 33 people in China.

While doctors and scientists abroad have widely praised the Chinese government's response to the outbreak, many observers within the country have expressed suspicion that officials are holding back some information on the bird flu virus; some point to the Chinese government's actions during the 2002 SARS outbreak, which it originally tried to hide. On Wednesday, Chinese state media announced that police had detained 10 people for allegedly spreading rumors about the virus on social media.

Via Reuters

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