Climate change impact assessments are predominantly undertaken for the purpose of informing future adaptation decisions. Often, the complexity of the methodology hinders the actionable outcomes. The approach used here illustrates the importance of considering uncertainty in future climate projections, at the same time providing robust and simple to interpret information for decision-makers. By quantifying current and future exposure of Royal Gala apple to damaging temperature extremes across ten important pome fruit-growing locations in Australia, differences in impact to ripening fruit are highlighted, with, by the end of the twenty-first century, some locations maintaining no sunburn browning risk, while others potentially experiencing the risk for the majority of the January ripening period. Installation of over-tree netting can reduce the impact of sunburn browning. The benefits from employing this management option varied across the ten study locations. The two approaches explored to assist decision-makers assess this information (a) using sunburn browning risk analogues and (b) through identifying hypothetical sunburn browning risk thresholds, resulted in varying recommendations for introducing over-tree netting. These recommendations were location and future time period dependent with some sites showing no benefit for sunburn protection from nets even by the end of the twenty-first century and others already deriving benefits from employing this adaptation option. Potential best and worst cases of sunburn browning risk and its potential reduction through introduction of over-tree nets were explored. The range of results presented highlights the importance of addressing uncertainty in climate projections that result from different global climate models and possible future emission pathways.
Read the study: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00484-016-1268-y
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