JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Found! Crystal Ball for wine regions “charting” climate to 2100

Somewhere in Victoria.  | Image by veronoumea

It’s just another day in the death of investigative journalism

Notice the way the words shift. The ABC told us tonight that a new “Atlas” will “chart” the temperature for wine growing regions in Australia, as if charting is what we do when we are taking a blind guess with a broken model at the future. Once upon a time, atlases mapped things that already existed.  The ABC and Uni Tas are just staring right into the future. Neat advertising eh?

Makes you wonder why we bother with thermometers.

The ABC News is like reading Harry Potter. The Hunter Valley is not predicted to get warmer, it’s “destined” to. Gone are the qualifiers: where once people might have to adapt, now they’ll be forced to.  In gushing form, the ABC quotes shocked farmers saying “It’s pivotal”, “a line-in-the-sand body of work” a “wow moment” and a “world first”, as if Tasmanian scientists discovered the magical Marauders Map itself.  It’s also like no group on Earth has ever tried to predict the climate of wine regions before. If the ABC interviewed a skeptical farmer it would have broken the camera.

If Uni of [...]

Another skeptical mind: Revered wine science expert writes skeptical book to rave reviews

The message just can’t be stopped.

What makes a leader of a field, a leader? They have a brain, and not always, but sometimes, they can reason. So it’s not surprising that some leaders see through the fog. Here’s another example of how the truth gets out. It’s a specialist field, and newspaper stories are all doom and gloom (eg. Climate change threat to Australia’s top wines! ) but one of its most esteemed leaders is saying emphatically: not so.

“The effects of climate change have been dramatically over-estimated. Future global climate change caused by human activity will be much less than feared and be largely benign for viticulture”. “The 21st Century will be wine’s golden age”.

In viticulture, tiny changes in levels of part-per-trillion molecules produce prizewinners (or not). See Croser’s review to appreciate just how much. They don’t just talk in degrees but the number of days involved.

“…the quantum and quality of the tertiary aroma and flavour compounds synthesised is profoundly influenced by atmospheric temperature.    John Gladstones identifies the optimal mean temperature of the last 30 days of ripening for the synthesis of flavour and pigment in red varieties as 18-22ºC and for [...]