A study has managed to extrapolate the accumulation of cold periods in Spain for over the next 30 years and to the end of the century. This provides producers with important information on the viability of fruit cultivation in the various regions in the future, as it allows them to know if there will be the necessary accumulated cold for the fruits to grow correctly or if they should relocate their crops to other areas.
The results obtained show a general reduction in the accumulation of cold in any future period for all the models and scenarios considered. The reduction is especially significant at the end of the century, under the most pessimistic scenario. These results invite us to strongly commit, not only to adapt but also to mitigate climate change, something that would make an important difference. The probable reduction of cold would threaten the viability of some varieties of fruit trees in the near future, especially in regions where there is currently a low accumulation of cold and there are varieties that require a lot of it.
The results are of interest for farmers, who can adapt the crops, as well as for geneticists, who can design varieties with lower cold-accumulation needs, and for politicians, who can use the study's results when making decisions aimed at food, ecological, and economic security. "The study highlights the importance of a drastic effort in mitigating climate change," stated David Perez-Lopez, a researcher at CEIGRAM who participated in the study.
The study was carried out by scientists from the Center for Studies and Research for the Management of Agricultural and Environmental Risks (CEIGRAM), a Joint Research Center of the UPM, the State Agricultural Insurance Entity (ENESA) and the Spanish Association of Agricultural Insurers (AGROSEGURO), along with other researchers from the UCLM and the JCR of Ispra.