Seymour Center presents talk on climate change and wine

Lisa Sloan
David Graves

Lisa Sloan, professor of Earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz, and David Graves, cofounder and managing partner of Saintsbury Winery in Napa, will discuss climate change and its impact on wine making in a public lecture at the Seymour Center at 1 p.m. on Sunday, September 19. The event is free with paid admission or membership.

The presentation by Sloan and Graves, "Climate Change and Wine: Observations, Impacts, and Implications," is part of the Science Sunday lecture series at the Seymour Center at Long Marine Laboratory. The two experts will talk about what drives climate change, what climate models can tell us about the future of California's climate, and what wine makers can do to ensure that their industry is able to adapt in an uncertain future.

Sloan directs the Climate Change and Impacts Laboratory at UCSC. She and her colleagues have developed a regional climate model that yields realistic scenarios for how climate conditions are likely to change throughout California's diverse geography over the next 50 to 100 years. Their findings on the local and statewide impacts of climate change have implications for a wide range of policy issues, such as the management of state water supplies, as well as for the state's wine industry.

Sloan has been using Graves's Saintsbury Winery in Napa Valley as one of her lab's data collection sites. This collaboration has moved Graves into the forefront of wine makers who are thinking about how climate change will affect their grapes, their product, and their industry. Wine grapes are highly sensitive to temperature, making the industry an early-warning system for problems that could affect all food crops.

"Wine is tied to place more than almost any other form of agriculture, in the sense that the names of the place are on the bottle," Graves said.

Located in Santa Cruz on the bluffs overlooking Monterey Bay, the Seymour Center provides exciting and engaging ocean education programs for the visiting public and for students of all ages. It is dedicated to educating youth, families, and the general public about the role science plays in the understanding and conservation of the world's oceans. The Seymour Center is open six days a week, year-round, and serves more than 60,000 people each year. The Seymour Center is celebrating its 10th anniversary on October 10.