Climate change’s impact on wine grapes under study

Capital News Service
LANSING –If you sip your favorite wine and it tastes a bit funny, climate change may be the culprit. More extreme weather, like unpredictable springs and long summer droughts, is to blame for changes in grape production, said Erwin Elsner a small fruit educator at Michigan State University. Scientists say extreme weather is one of the consequences of climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels. What that means to wine production is as yet unclear, and it’s still too early to tell for certain, Elsner said. “If we could tell our growers that they could expect consistent warming trends, it would be beneficial, but at this point all we have is a more unpredictable climate.

Oh deer, more deer in the U.P.

Capital News Service
LANSING — Michigan’s mild winter could mean more deer in the Upper Peninsula this year. Experts say unusually warm weather could make more food sources available, giving deer access to more forage sites and an advantage over predators. Those patterns could forecast an exceptional hunting season in the fall. Brent Rudolph, deer and elk program leader for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), said if mild temperatures and low snowfall persist through the rest of winter, deer populations could reproduce in greater numbers. “The most critical time, in terms of having an impact on population, is early spring,” Rudolph said.