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Climate Projections for Precipitation and Temperature Indicators in the Douro Wine Region: The Importance of Bias Correction

Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences, CITAB, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, UTAD, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal
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Academic Editors: J. Antonio Cortinas Rguez and Marco Acutis
Agronomy 2021, 11(5), 990; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11050990
Received: 11 February 2021 / Revised: 16 April 2021 / Accepted: 10 May 2021 / Published: 17 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Biosystem and Biological Engineering)
The implications of weather and climate extremes on the viticulture and winemaking sector can be particularly detrimental and acquire more relevance under a climate change context. A four-member ensemble of the Regional Climate Model-Global Climate Model chain simulations is used to evaluate the potential impacts of climate change on indices of extreme temperature and precipitation, as well as on agroclimatic indices of viticultural suitability in the Douro Wine Region, Portugal, under current and future climate conditions, following the RCP8.5 anthropogenic radiative forcing scenario. Historical (1989–2005) and future (2051–2080) periods are considered for this purpose. Although model outputs are bias-corrected to improve the accuracy of the results, owing to the sensitivity of the climatic indicators to the specific bias correction method, the performance of the linear and quantile mapping methods are compared. The results hint at the importance of choosing the most accurate method (quantile mapping), not only in replicating extremes events but also in reproducing the accumulated agroclimatic indices. Significant differences between the bias correction methods are indeed found for the number of extremely warm days (maximum temperature > 35 °C), number of warm spells, number of warm spell days, number of consecutive dry days, the Dryness Index, and growing season precipitation. The Huglin Index reveals lower sensitivity, thus being more robust to the choice of the method. Hence, an unsuitable bias correction method may hinder the accuracy of climate change projections in studies heavily relying on derived extreme indices and agroclimatic indicators, such as in viticulture. Regarding the climate change signal, significant warming and drying trends are projected throughout the target region, which is supported by previous studies, but also accompanied by an increase of intensity, frequency, and duration of extreme events, namely heatwaves and dry spells. These findings thereby corroborate the need to adopt timely and effective adaptation strategies by the regional winemaking sector to warrant its future sustainability and enhance climate resilience. View Full-Text
Keywords: bias correction; climate change; extreme events; grapevine; douro wine region bias correction; climate change; extreme events; grapevine; douro wine region
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MDPI and ACS Style

Martins, J.; Fraga, H.; Fonseca, A.; Santos, J.A. Climate Projections for Precipitation and Temperature Indicators in the Douro Wine Region: The Importance of Bias Correction. Agronomy 2021, 11, 990. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11050990

AMA Style

Martins J, Fraga H, Fonseca A, Santos JA. Climate Projections for Precipitation and Temperature Indicators in the Douro Wine Region: The Importance of Bias Correction. Agronomy. 2021; 11(5):990. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11050990

Chicago/Turabian Style

Martins, Joana, Helder Fraga, André Fonseca, and João Andrade Santos. 2021. "Climate Projections for Precipitation and Temperature Indicators in the Douro Wine Region: The Importance of Bias Correction" Agronomy 11, no. 5: 990. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11050990

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