According to a November 2011 article by Paige Donner, wine yields, flavor and even the types of grapes grown will be affected by the coming-soon changes in climate (some in positive ways, others negative, depending on the type of grape). According to a study conducted by researchers at Stanford University in California, there could be 50 percent less land suitable for cultivating premium wine grapes in high-value areas of Northern California even as some cooler parts of Oregon and Washington state would become correspondingly better for growing grapes. These results follow the researchers’ 2006 climate study, which projected that as much as 81 percent of premium wine grape acreage in the country could become unsuitable for some varietals by the end of the century. Something similar is happening in Europe, with some countries already seeing disastrous harvests, and parts of England suddenly becoming warm enough to grow grapes.
In 2007, specialists from seven European countries published results of the first large-scale study of climate change’s impact on historic landmarks. Among other things, the pilot study found that severe damage from desertification and intense rains could pose to a threat to cultural heritage sites such as the Tower of London, the historic center of Prague and the ancient temples and Colosseum of Greece. In the same year, the World Monuments Fund published its list of the top 100 most endangered cultural landmarks.
For the first time, the United States was home to more listed sites than any other country, with seven. The U.S. locations also include historic Route 66 and the New York State Pavilion, a rusting remnant of the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City’s Queens borough. The same goes for many of the most beautiful parts of Australia. Experts report that the Great Barrier Reef, Bondi Beach, and Kakadu National Park might not exist by the end of the century.
At the March 2009 range states meeting of the five polar bear nations, scientists agreed that climate change is the single biggest threat facing polar bears. The Arctic is experiencing the warmest air temperatures in four centuries, and sea ice losses in the summer of 2012 broke all previous records. Without ice, polar bears are unable to reach their prey. Shorter hunting seasons correlate directly with a 22 percent drop in the population of Western Hudson Bay near Churchill in Manitoba, Canada since the early 1980s. There has also been a steep drop in cub survival rates. Just last year, BBC News published a shocking image of an adult polar bear dragging the body of a cub that it has just killed across the Arctic sea ice. Polar bears normally hunt seals but if environmental conditions mean these are not available, the big predators will seek out other sources of food — even their own kind.
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