Enjoy it while it lasts. Image by pete4ducks via FlickrGood article from Alan Bates on the change in climate in Tennessee and the repercussions for growing food.
Here in the verdant Willamette Valley, a food lover's paradise, we are seeing a surge of wineries as we become the "next Napa Valley" -- but think about what that means. In the time since the Napa Valley was a little-known place and then THE chi-chi spot for wine snobs, much of what made Napa Napa has moved north, to be replaced by even hotter consistent weather.
It's like your car was capable of towing the continent southward, bringing Salem into the climate that once prevailed in Napa.
Sounds sweet, right?
Except for one thing -- we've still got a few more decades of warming coming even if all the carbon emissions stop today. It's built in, thanks to the lag time for climate response to greenhouse gas emissions. (And that's presuming that we don't trip one of the natural features that amplify climate instability, like massive permafrost melting or thermal-induced release of the methane hydrates on the sea floor.)
So while it might be nice to grow wine near Salem today we need to recognize that, as we tow North America towards the sweltering Equator with our every gallon of gas burnt, we don't have any good way to stop. We're only going to enjoy this period for a short while before the Skagit Valley becomes "The Next Napa" and Salem wine grapes die off from excessive heat. And what else will we lose? Will we still be able to produce cherries in The Cherry City?