90% of some of the world's traditional wine regions could be gone in decades. It's part of a larger problem.


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Your favorite wines may soon cease to exist. Some of the world's traditional wine regions, from Europe to Southern California, are at risk of almost completely disappearing within decades, researchers found, as the conditions necessary to produce their grapes grow more unfruitful due to climate change.

As humans continue to burn fossil fuels, the planet is getting warmer. And those increasing temperatures — which impact everything from the water cycle to locations where people can safely live — are fueling more extreme weather. In a new literature review published in Nature Reviews Earth & Environment on Tuesday, scientists found that climate change's impact in the coastal and lowland regions of Spain, Italy, Greece and Southern California — all home to some of the world's most traditional wine producers — is significant.

By the end of the century — just 76 years — they found roughly 90% of these specific regions "could be at risk of disappearing." Specifically, they found that excessive drought and more frequent heat waves fueled by climate change are responsible for the threat. An area's temperature, precipitation, humidity, radiation and carbon dioxide levels are also vital components of wine production, and are all altered by climate change.