2 weeks later:
I had a laugh at first. That’s silly, too hot to transport a bottle? Is the glass going to melt? But then I started to think a bit more. Wine can go bad in high temperatures. So can a lot of other perishables, canned/bottled goods, and even medicine! Oh my goodness, what will the increased temperatures in the Southwestern US do to the transportation/shipping industry and food stuffs?
There are a lot of goods that ship out of California to the rest of the United States. From 91% of strawberries to frozen restaurant food (pre-frozen In-N-Out burgers? No thanks). This could be a big deal though. All of those perishable items will now have to tolerate higher temperatures in transit, so that means more air-conditioned trucks and trains. Refrigerated transport is projected to grow and it’s hard to know if climate change will affect the growth of this industry. The growth for this industry may be due to increased demand of refrigerated products, but high temperatures due to Climate Change could expedite the need for cooling power. This increase in refrigeration and air-conditioning will take a toll on the energy sector, but maybe the renewable energy industry can compensate.
Stay tuned for next month where I talk about fire in the western United States. Very much a hot topic.
*my fiancé is from California, so while you can temporarily relocate a Californian, you have to subsidize them with wine from the Golden State.
**More on this in future #ClimateChanged posts
Nate Emery is currently a post-doc in the department of Plant Biology at Michigan State University. He holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and conducts research in plant ecophysiology, biology education, and faculty professional development. Follow him on Twitter @FoggyIdeas or check out his website for more information