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Open Geospatial Viticulture: Determining the Mesoscale Impact of Climatic Change for Quebec's Winegrowing Bioclimatology


Open Geospatial Viticulture: Determining the Mesoscale Impact of Climatic Change for Quebec's Winegrowing Bioclimatology

Smith, Trevor James ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5393-8359 (2017) Open Geospatial Viticulture: Determining the Mesoscale Impact of Climatic Change for Quebec's Winegrowing Bioclimatology. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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The combined utilization of climate scenarios, climate models and Geographic Information Systems [GIS] represent the most reliable tools to spatially determine the potential impacts of climate change in the near to end-of-century time horizons. With affordable computation, massive and open online courses, open access journals, cloud-based data visualization platforms, countless repositories of environmental and climate data available through the Internet, and the Free and Open Source [FOS] software movement, geospatial analysis is becoming an increasingly accessible field for professional researchers, the technically inclined, and the general public.

I present here a Master's thesis that has been developed primarily using FOS software and openly accessible environmental data with few usage restrictions. The analysis is a multi-criteria-based suitability and climate categorization of Southern Quebec for European V. vinifera wine grape viticulture. Using several openly available GIS data sources, I identify and categorize the wine regions of Quebec according to a series of climate metrics developed specifically for wine studies. My analysis is based on both NASA Daymet present-day satellite-observed climate grids (Thornton et al., 2015) and ClimateNA (Wang, Hamann, Spittlehouse, & Carroll, 2016), a statistically downscaled gridded data set of 30-year climate normals extending from years 1980 to 2100 for two climate change scenarios, the Representative Concentration Pathways scenarios [RCP] 4.5 and 8.5 (Moss et al., 2010). I perform my analysis by examining the results of these viticultural metrics and climate variables both at the regional scale and at locations of presently-operating vineyards. All results are determined spatially using QGIS (QGIS Development Team, 2016) and other Open Source GNU/Linux utilities (Debian Project, 2015).

My results show that present-day Saint Lawrence Seaway Valley barely exceeds the needed thermal suitability threshold for V. vinifera viticulture with most of Montérégie and Estrie at or below most “Cool Climate” categorizations and other agricultural zones are located well below climatic suitability for European viticulture. For future projections both RCP scenarios mirror an increase of ~200 growing degree-days [GDDs, ºC] from 1981-2010 to the 2011-2040 period and strongly diverging for periods afterwards. Results using the RCP 4.5 “Stabilization” show present-day vineyard locations may experience an increase in climate region category by roughly one or two climate categories (“Temperate” and “Warm”), while the RCP 8.5 “Business as Usual” scenario shows some present vineyard locations may become unsuitably hot with “Warm” viticultural climates extending above 50 ºN.

I also present an extended literature review and methodology chapter that summarizes and explores my experience in employing almost exclusively FOS software and unrestricted data. This chapter is structured in a non-traditional fashion and is meant to provide an introductory background and discussion of the history of Open Source/Data/Access and Open Government movements. An extended methodology explores FOS software, Open Data resources, and showcases an example methodology for an agriculturally-focused FOS-GIS analysis. While the FOS movement is not presently capable of replacing all proprietary tools or present models of knowledge dissemination, Open Source approaches and a fostering of the Open ecosystem can be greatly beneficial for both the individual and at societal levels.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Smith, Trevor James
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Geography, Urban & Environmental Studies
Date:24 February 2017
Thesis Supervisor(s):Matthews, H. Damon
Keywords:Bioclimatology, Climate Change, Climate Modelling, Geographic Information Systems, Open Source Software, Quebec, Viticulture, Wine
ID Code:982197
Deposited By: Trevor James Smith
Deposited On:09 Jun 2017 15:29
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:54
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