`Study Reveals Impacts of Climate Change on Spanish Olive Sector - Olive Oil Times

Study Reveals Impacts of Climate Change on Spanish Olive Sector

May. 23, 2022
Ephantus Mukundi

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A recent report from the Coordinator of Agriculture and Livestock Organizations (COAG) found that cli­mate change has resulted in €550 mil­lion of losses per annum for the Spanish agri­cul­tural sec­tor, equiv­a­lent to approx­i­mately 6 per­cent of its total value,

The report was the first to doc­u­ment the impacts of cli­mate change on Spain’s olive groves, vine­yards, pas­tures and cereal crops.

Taking urgent action today to keep warm­ing below 1.5 °C is more effi­cient and less costly. The pre­ven­tion of cli­mate change, there­fore, will help us pro­tect our agri­cul­ture and econ­omy.- Andoni García, head of trade union action, COAG

The research indi­cated that global tem­per­a­tures ris­ing 1.5 ºC above the pre-indus­trial aver­age could result in the loss of 80 per­cent of agri­cul­tural land suit­able for olive vari­eties such as Manzanilla or Hojablanca in Andalusia, which is home to 60 per­cent of all Spanish olive groves.

Previous research esti­mated that olive oil pro­duc­tion in the Sierra Mágina, in south-cen­tral Jaén, would decrease by 3.5 per­cent and 7 per­cent for irri­gated and rain­fed olive groves, respec­tively, with a 1.5 ºC tem­per­a­ture rise.

See Also:Researchers Work to Identify Olive Varieties Best Adapted to Higher Temperatures

However, the report also pre­dicted the country’s iconic Picual vari­ety would with­stand this level of tem­per­a­ture rise and con­tinue to main­tain yields despite extended dry spells.

The report also pre­dicted that such a 1.5 ºC increase would reduce wheat yields by 8 per­cent and land used for high-qual­ity wine pro­duc­tion by 10 per­cent.

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The COAG report fur­ther found that a 2 ºC increase in global tem­per­a­tures will see an 11 per­cent decrease in water resources and endan­ger the holm oak pas­tures, an iconic part of the south­ern Iberian land­scape, in west­ern Extremadura and Andalusia.

Further, a 2.5°C increase would affect Picual olives sig­nif­i­cantly and prob­a­bly result in the dis­ap­pear­ance of holm oak pas­tures in most parts of south­ern Spain.

Many in Andalusia, the world’s largest olive oil-pro­duc­ing region by a wide mar­gin, worry that hot­ter springs will adversely affect olive trees when they bloom and endan­ger future olive har­vests.

During the pre­sen­ta­tion of the report, Andoni García, the head of trade union action at COAG, said that the results of cli­mate risks should be the basis for devel­op­ing strate­gies to avert cli­mate change and pro­tect agri­cul­tural lands.

Taking urgent action today to keep warm­ing below 1.5 °C is more effi­cient and less costly,” he said. The pre­ven­tion of cli­mate change, there­fore, will help us pro­tect our agri­cul­ture and econ­omy and ensure that an eter­nal sum­mer does not dry out our gas­tron­omy, tra­di­tions, cul­ture and iden­tity.”



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