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Agriculture

Rising Temperatures in Agriculture

The agriculture industry of California is the largest and the most diverse of the country, producing 300 commodities and half of the country’s fruits and vegetables. As temperatures rise in the state, there will be a direct impact on the water supply, proliferation of pests, outbreak of diseases and overall quality and quantity of the produce.

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Wine Industry

California is the nation’s largest wine producer and the fourth largest wine producer worldwide. High-quality wines produced throughout the Napa and Sonoma Valleys and along the northern and central coasts generate $3.2 billion in revenue each year. High temperatures during the growing season can cause premature ripening and reduce grape quality. Temperature increases are expected to have only modest effect on grape quality in most regions over the next few decades. However, toward the end of the century, wine grapes could ripen as much as one to two months earlier, which will affect grape quality in all but the coolest coastal locations (Mendocino and Monterey Counties).

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Securing an Adequate Water Supply

Continued global warming will increase pressure on California’s water resources, which are already over-stretched by the demands of a growing economy and population. Decreasing snowmelt and spring stream flows coupled with increasing demand for water resulting from both a growing population and hotter climate could lead to increasing water shortages. By the end of the century, if temperatures rise to the medium warming range and precipitation decreases, late spring stream flow could decline by up to 30 percent. Agricultural areas could be hard hit, with California farmers losing as much as 25 percent of the water supply they need.

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