Wine? "Grapes thrive in the warmer south, while grains like barley can tolerate the snow and frost of the north. Now, with climate change throwing off historic weather patterns... drought could hurt barley production... and thus threaten beer too," Blackmore remarked. (Not to mention that cool-tolerant vegetation is moving northward.)
We're not in trouble yet, says Nils Stein, a geneticist at the Leibniz Institute for Plant Genetics:
“If we understand the genetic basis of tolerance to cold climate, to drought, to heat, then we can also use that information as an input for more direct breeding selection.”
In other words, scientists may be able to crossbreed more climate-hardy, zero-GMO varieties of barley from the international seed banks.
Award-winning science writer Sandy Dechert covers environmental, health, and energy policy and issues. She has reported extensively on climate change and extreme weather disasters, including superstorm Sandy, the 2012-2013 drought, and the massive summer wildfires of the past decade. She also detailed events and policy at last fall's 18th UN climate change summit meeting in Doha, Qatar and has covered the progress of the Obama administration in this area.
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