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Climate change taking toll on marine resources: Scientist

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Kochi: Climate change is taking a toll on fishery resources, with the consequent ocean warming and the rise of the sea level posing multiple threats to the marine ecosystem, a leading marine scientist said here on Thursday.

“The scientific community has to take steps to develop adequate technologies to reduce carbon footprints and international collaboration is necessary to undertake advanced research to tackle the issues being faced by the marine ecosystem,” B. Madhusoodana Kurup, vice chancellor of Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS), said at the Indo-EU workshop on marine ecosystem and climate in India.

The workshop was jointly organised by KUFOS and the Nansen Environmental Research Centre-India (NERCI) under the EU-INDO-MARECLIM project of the European Union.

“Climate change has direct impact on ocean resources. The consequent rise of sea surface temperature and habitat destruction are causing the disappearance of commercially important fish species,” he said.

“There are scientific challenges for ecologists, economists, and other social scientists, in understanding how human actions affect ecosystems, the provision of ecosystem services, and the value of those services.

“An effective strategy should be designed to manage, monitor and provide incentives that reflect the social values of ecosystem services,” said Kurup.

N.R. Menon, coordinator of the INDO-MARECLIM project and co-Chairman of NERCI, said the objective of the workshop was to establish scientific cooperation of India and the EU member states in areas of monsoon studies, protection of marine ecosystem and coastal zone management.

“The meet is aimed at initiating a tie-up with Europe to undertake serious research in these areas,” said Menon.

The INDO-MARECLIM project envisages developing an institutional network in India to embark on joint research ventures from a case to case basis.

The project aims at facilitating and improving cooperation between the EU members states, associated countries and India.

(IANS)

 

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Climate change can have an effect on the taste of the wines

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Climate change can have an effect on the taste of the wine
Climate change can have an effect on the taste of the wine. wikimedia commons

New York, Jan 3, 2018: Although winegrowers seem reluctant to try new grape varieties apparently to protect the taste of the wines, new research suggests that they will ultimately have to give up on their old habit as planting lesser-known grape varieties might help vineyards to counteract some of the effects of climate change.

vineyards. wikimedia commons

“It’s going to be very hard, given the amount of warming we’ve already committed to… for many regions to continue growing the exact varieties they’ve grown in the past,” said study co-author Elizabeth Wolkovich, Assistant Professor at Harvard University.

“With continued climate change, certain varieties in certain regions will start to fail — that’s my expectation,” she said.

The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, suggests that wine producers now face a choice — proactively experiment with new varieties, or risk suffering the negative consequences of climate change.

“The Old World has a huge diversity of wine grapes — there are overplanted 1,000 varieties — and some of them are better adapted to hotter climates and have higher drought tolerance than the 12 varieties now making up over 80 per cent of the wine market in many countries,” Wolkovich said.

“We should be studying and exploring these varieties to prepare for climate change,” she added.

Unfortunately, Wolkovich said, convincing wine producers to try different grape varieties is difficult at best, and the reason often comes down to the current concept of terroir.

Terroir is the notion that a wine’s flavour is a reflection of where which and how the grapes were grown.

Thus, as currently understood, only certain traditional or existing varieties are part of each terroir, leaving little room for change.

The industry — both in the traditional winegrowing centres of Europe and around the world — faces hurdles when it comes to making changes, Wolkovich said.

In Europe, she said, growers have the advantage of tremendous diversity.

They have more than 1,000 grape varieties to choose from. Yet strict labelling laws have created restrictions on their ability to take advantage of this diversity.

For example, just three varieties of grapes can be labelled as Champagne or four for Burgundy.

Similar restrictions have been enacted in many European regions – all of which force growers to focus on a small handful of grape varieties.

“The more you are locked into what you have to grow, the less room you have to adapt to climate change,” Wolkovich said.

New World winegrowers, meanwhile, must grapple with the opposite problem — while there are few, if any, restrictions on which grape varieties may be grown in a given region, growers have little experience with the diverse — and potentially more climate change adaptable — varieties of grapes found in Europe, the study said.

Just 12 varieties account for more than 80 per cent of the grapes grown in Australian vineyards, Wolkovich said.

More than 75 per cent of all the grapes grown in China is Cabernet Sauvignon — and the chief reason why has to do with consumers.

“They have all the freedom in the world to import new varieties and think about how to make great wines from a grape variety you’ve never heard of, but they’re not doing it because the consumer hasn’t heard of it,” Wolkovich said. (IANS)

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